Taiho & Cullinan to develop novel EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor

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Tokyo’s Taiho Pharmaceutical will develop TAS6417, its novel EGFR epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor, alongside Cullinan Oncology.

The agreement will see Taiho Pharmaceutical grant an exclusive, global license ex-Japan for the development and commercialisation of TAS6417 to Cullinan Pearl, a newly formed US-based company under the Cullinan Oncology umbrella.

Taiho Pharmaceutical will receive an upfront payment, regulatory and sales milestones, as well as royalties based on net sales.

Taiho Ventures, a strategic corporate venture arm of Taiho Pharmaceutical, will provide funding for Cullinan Pearl’s Series A alongside Cullinan Oncology.

“The Taiho’s drug research team created a unique molecule targeting EGFR Exon 20 insertion mutation using proprietary drug discovery platform technology,” said Taiho Pharmaceutical MD Teruhiro Utsugi.

“This alliance, one of the first of its kind at Taiho Pharmaceutical, allows our organization to optimise its R&D resource allocation and accelerate global development by accessing external talent and resources.”

Cullinan Pearl said it will utilise Cullinan Oncology’s shared service platform to develop TAS6417, which relies on a central management team and a network of integrated collaborators to help drive the development of pre-clinical and clinical assets.