Rockville biotech GlycoMimetics Inc. has entered into a license agreement worth $189 million or more with a West Coast company.
The deal gives cancer therapy biopharma Apollomics Inc. of Foster City, California exclusive rights to develop and commercialize GlycoMimetics’ blood cancer drug in greater China, which encompasses mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau, the company said Monday. GlycoMimetics (NASDAQ: GLYC) will receive $9 million in cash upfront and around $180 million in milestone payments. There is the potential for additional revenue from royalties if the drug successfully goes to market there.
The deal is significant for the Maryland firm, given that it is still in clinical stages with no drugs yet to market and no major revenue stream.
But it’s getting closer. Its candidate, called uproleselan, is now in phase 3 trials to treat acute myeloid leukemia, a type of cancer that affects the bone marrow and blood. GlycoMimetics is studying the drug specifically in patients with what’s called relapsed or refractory AML — meaning the disease has come back or did not respond to initial treatment — in the U.S., Europe, Australia and Canada. The National Cancer Institute is also vetting the drug in its own U.S. study in patients with newly diagnosed AML.
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