BeiGene has signed an agreement to acquire an exclusive worldwide license to Ensem Therapeutics’ cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) inhibitor.
The oral CDK2 inhibitor from Ensem is an investigational new drug (IND) application-ready asset.
BeiGene R&D global head Lai Wang said: “We are committed to developing novel molecules with the potential to transform the therapeutic landscape for cancer patients, and this partnership fits well with our strategic focus on breast cancer as an area with tremendous unmet need for innovative treatment options.
“This CDK2 inhibitor from Ensem complements our internally discovered Phase I CDK4 inhibitor, which has the potential to improve upon current CDK4/6 inhibitors in some breast cancer patients, and strengthens our early development pipeline in breast cancer and other solid tumours. We are excited to work with Ensem to bring this molecule into the clinic in the near future.”
As per the agreement terms, Ensem will be eligible for an upfront payment.
The company will also receive additional payments totalling up to $1.33bn on achieving certain development, regulatory, and commercial milestones, apart from tiered royalties.
Ensem Therapeutics president and CEO Shengfang Jin said: “We believe BeiGene is the right partner to advance our first IND-ready asset due to their wealth of expertise in bringing innovative cancer therapies to patients globally.
“This partnership validates the capabilities of Ensem’s drug discovery and development team and the ability to rapidly advance potential best-in-class or first-in-class molecules utilising our Kinetic Ensemble platform.”
Ensem focuses on difficult-to-drug oncology targets.