ASLAN and BioGenetics sign second commercialisation agreement

The partnership will see BioGenetics market ASLAN's DHODH in South Korea

ASLAN Pharmaceutical in Singapore has entered into a new commercialisation agreement with BioGenetics whereby both parties will partner to commercialise ASLAN003 in all indications in South Korea. The agreement builds on an existing strategic collaboration between both companies.

ASLAN003 is an orally active, potent inhibitor of human dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH) that has the potential to be first-in-class in Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). The company is currently conducting a phase 2a dose optimisation study of ASLAN003 in AML and expects to complete the study in the first half of 2019

As part of the deal, BioGenetics gets exclusive rights to commercialise ASLAN003 in South Korea in exchange for an upfront payment of US$1 million and up to $8m in sales and development milestones.

ASLAN, a clinical-stage oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for global markets, is also eligible to receive tiered double-digit royalties on net sales from the high-teens to the mid-twenties range.

Dr Carl Firth, Chief Executive Officer of ASLAN Pharmaceuticals, commented: “We believe that ASLAN003 has the potential to be a first-in-class therapy for AML and are pleased that BioGenetics has chosen to partner with us as we continue the phase 2 development of this important asset. We have already seen early signs of clinical activity and look forward to the read out from the first part of the ongoing study later this year.”

BioGenetics, a South Korean healthcare company, will contribute to the global R&D costs incurred by ASLAN in the clinical development of ASLAN003 in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and will be responsible for obtaining initial and all subsequent regulatory approvals of ASLAN003 in South Korea.

ASLAN003 has been awarded orphan drug designation from the US Food and Drug Administration.

Preliminary data

ASLAN presented preliminary data from the study at the 60th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting, in which ASLAN003 showed early signs of safety and efficacy in relapsed and refractory AML patients.

In previous clinical studies, ASLAN003 has demonstrated potent inhibition of DHODH, a lack of toxicities associated with first-generation inhibitors and other novel AML therapies, and the potential to induce differentiation in blast cells and applicability in a broad range of AML patients.

JooHoon Ahn, Chief Executive Officer of Biopharma, BioGenetics, commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with ASLAN for the second time as we build a pipeline of innovative drugs that we believe have the potential to address significant unmet needs for Korean patients. We are excited by the data that ASLAN003 has generated to date and its potential in a broad range of AML patients.”

Previous collaboration

The agreement for ASLAN003 is ASLAN’s second commercialisation agreement with BioGenetics. In February 2019, ASLAN signed an agreement with BioGenetics whereby both parties will collaborate to commercialise ASLAN’s lead asset, varlitinib, in all indications in South Korea.

ASLAN acquired the global rights to develop and commercialise ASLAN003 in May 2012 from Almirall. Under the terms of the agreement, ASLAN is required to pay Almirall a low double-digit percentage of all licensing revenues received.

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