Telix offers $33M to acquire Qsam for phase 1 bone cancer radiopharmaceutical

Telix Pharmaceuticals has offered to pay $33.1 million for Qsam Biosciences so the Australian biotech can get its hands on a phase 1 radiopharmaceutical for bone cancer.

Texas-based Qsam’s lead asset is Samarium-153-DOTMP, also known as CycloSam, a bone-targeting radiopharmaceutical originally developed by IsoTherapeutics. The candidate is in a phase 1 trial in cancer that has metastasized to the bone from the breast, lung, prostate and other organs.

Telix described CycloSam as “highly synergistic” with its own pipeline, which includes a phase 3 antibody-directed prostate cancer therapy candidate called TLX591, a phase 2 kidney cancer drug called TLX250 and TLX101 being developed for brain cancer.

The Australian biotech already has a number of imaging agents for these cancers either on the market or in late-stage development.

As well as the metastatic bone cancer indication, Telix sees potential for CycloSam in osteosarcoma, a specific type of bone tumor that mostly affects children and young adults. Qsam has already secured orphan drug and rare pediatric disease tags from the FDA for this disease, Telix noted.

“The RPDD designation may enable CycloSam to be brought to market more rapidly through additional incentives, including eligibility for a priority review voucher under which the FDA may reduce the review period for a drug candidate to six months,” Telix explained in the release.

Even before the deal is signed, Telix will pay Qsam a $2 million fee for agreeing to the term sheet and securing 60 days of exclusivity. The $33.1 million upfront price tag to buy the company will be paid out in Telix shares and marks a 52% premium on the Texan company’s fully diluted capitalization for the 10 days before the term sheet was confirmed.

In addition, Qsam shareholders will be in line for up to $90 million in milestone payments as the assets are developed.

“CycloSam is a novel, de-risked clinical asset that has the potential to deliver tangible improvements of prior bone-seeking agents with established efficacy, safety and commercial utility,” Qsam CEO Douglas Baum said in the release. “By joining forces with Telix we are accessing a specialized commercial team, distribution network and development expertise, with the goal of realizing the full potential of this asset.”