Menarini Group’s Stemline inks $500M+ biobucks deal for Insilico’s breast cancer candidate

Menarini Group’s Stemline Therapeutics is paying $12 million upfront for licensing rights to Insilico Medicine’s breast cancer candidate in a deal potentially worth more than $500 million.

Under the terms of the agreement, Menarini’s wholly owned subsidiary Stemline will receive exclusive global rights to develop and commercialize a small molecule KAT6A inhibitor that was designed using Insilico’s AI platform for hormone sensitive cancers and other oncology indications. The deal includes upfront and milestone payments for a combined potential of more than $500 million, plus royalties, according to a Jan. 4 press release.

The preclinical molecule is designed to inhibit KAT6 activity and block endocrine receptor (ER) at the transcriptional level. The molecule has shown potent inhibition in several preclinical cancer models and a good safety profile, according to Insilico.

Menarini’s Stemline already markets Orserdu (also known as elacestrant) in the U.S. and the E.U. The oral endocrine therapy is used to treat certain patients with ER-positive, HER2-negative, ESR1-mutated advanced or metastatic breast cancer after already receiving at least one line of endocrine therapy. 

“Having brought the first innovation in endocrine therapy after almost 20 years to the U.S. and Europe with elacestrant for ER+, HER2- breast cancer patients, our aim is to further augment patient outcomes, and targeting KAT6A can potentially serve that in breast cancer and beyond,” Menarini Group CEO Elcin Barker Ergun said in the Jan. 4 release.

Editor's note: This article was updated at 4 p.m. ET on Jan. 4 to clarify information about how Insilico's preclinical molecule works.