Israeli company VBL Therapeutics(Nasdaq:VBLX), which develops treatments for brain cancer (Gliblastoma) and ovarian cancer, is preparing for the commercialization of its product. The company has signed an agreement with local company NanoCarrier to commercialize its technology in Japan. In return for granting marketing rights to its drug to NanoCarrier, VBL will receive a $15 million advance and more payments according to milestones. The total payment is up to $100 million. VBL will also receive more than 10% royalties on sales.
VBL's leading product is in Phase III clinical trials for treatment of Gliblastoma (a multi-center effectiveness trial is likely to be the final one before marketing). A Phase III trial of the drug for treatment of ovarian cancer is scheduled to begin by the end of the year. NanoCarrier will be responsible for special trials in Japan, if necessary, and for the regulatory process.
This deal can indicate the potential of a deal for commercializing the drug anywhere in the world once the results of the main trial are in, provided that they are positive, of course. Japan is the world's second largest pharmaceutical market after the US, while the US market combined with the European market is three times the size of the Japanese market. Success in Phase III trials can push up the company's market cap by up to a factor of 10.
Results of the Gliblastoma Phase III trial are expected in the first quarter of 2018. Depending on how good they are, they could serve as a basis for filing a request for marketing approval in the US.
VBL had $33 million in cash as of the end of the second quarter of 2017. "Japan is potentially a large market opportunity for VBLT, and this agreement provides us with access into this important market as we continue to prepare for commercialization of VB-111 in recurrent glioblastoma (rGBM), and in other indications,” said VBL CEO Dr. Dror Harats. "We are continually looking for new opportunities in the treatment of cancer, and VB-111 is an innovative gene therapy which, if approved, could have significant market potential in Japan,” said NanoCarrier president and CEO Dr. Ichiro Nakatomi.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on November 6, 2017
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