Spectrum adds to cancer pipeline with $350M deal

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals is paying $30 million down and up to $320 million in cash and a million shares of stock for a significant share of the worldwide rights to a late-stage cancer compound advanced by TopoTarget A/S. Spectrum (SPPI) is putting up the money in exchange for the North American and Indian rights to Belinostat, an HDAC inhibitor currently in a registrational trial for relapsed or refractory Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma. The drug has been granted orphan drug and fast track designation by the FDA.

"With this collaboration, we have now completed our strategic initiatives relating to in-licensing of compounds with near term commercialization opportunities," says Spectrum CEO Rajesh Shrotriya, MD. "Belinostat's current registrational program is comprehensive and focused in that it targets key hematological indications such as PTCL and other solid tumor indications. Belinostat has the potential to be a best-in-class HDAC inhibitor for both hematological and solid tumors."

Spectrum, which also took an option on the Chinese market, is paying for 70 percent of the clinical trial costs while TopoTarget stands to earn double-digit royalties on any sales.

Spectrum has been a busy drug development player in the last few months. The developer picked up a $1.5 milestone from Allergan when it announced that the company achieved its enrollment target for the second of two Phase III clinical trials of apaziquone, a bladder cancer drug. And at the end of January Spectrum dumped a disappointing BPH drug dubbed ozarelix, vowing to shift its focus and $40 million budget to other drugs in the pipeline.

- check out the press release