Autoimmune Biotech Scores $26M Payment, Up To $139M To Advance Phase 3 Research

  • Equillium Inc EQ announced an option and asset purchase agreement through which Ono Pharmaceutical Co Ltd gains the exclusive option to purchase Equillium's rights to itolizumab.
  • These rights include all therapeutic indications and the rights to commercialize itolizumab in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • Through this partnership, Equillium has secured the resources necessary to continue advancing the Phase 3 EQUATOR study of itolizumab in the treatment of first-line acute graft-versus-host disease and ongoing EQUALISE study in lupus nephritis. 
  • Related: Equillium Shares Ride Higher After Positive Data From Lead Asset In Kidney Inflammation.
  • Based on the current operating plan, the company expects this strategic partnership to enable it to fund operations into 2025.
  • Equillium will receive an upfront payment of approximately $26 million (¥3.5 billion) and will also be eligible to receive up to an aggregate of approximately $138.5 million (¥18.7 billion) for the exercise of the option and milestone payments from development through the first commercial sale. 
  • Equillium will conduct all research and development of itolizumab, which will be fully funded by Ono on a quarterly basis commencing July 1, 2022, through the option period.
  • In September, Equillium agreed to acquire Metacrine Inc MTCR in an all-stock transaction
  • Price Action: EQ shares are up 0.12% at $1.65 on the last check Tuesday.
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