Coherus BioSciences has signed an in-licensing agreement to acquire commercial rights of Innovent Biologics’ biosimilar candidate to Avastin (bevacizumab) (IBI305) in the US and Canada.

The agreement aligns with Coherus’ strategy to expand its oncology franchise.

Under the agreement, Coherus will pay Innovent up to $45m as upfront and milestones payments for IBI305. Additionally, Innovent will also receive a double-digit per cent of royalty payments from future commercial sales of IBI305.

IBI305 is a recombinant humanised anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) monoclonal antibody for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), colorectal cancer and other malignant tumours.

It completed an extensive Phase III safety and efficacy study in China, securing priority review status in the country.

Coherus now plans to file a Biologics License Application (BLA) in the US in late this year or early 2021. Once approved, the company will launch IBI305 in the market.

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Innovent founder, chairman and CEO Michael Yu said: “The clinical efficacy and safety results of IBI305 compared with bevacizumab in advanced, first-line, non-squamous NSCLC patients were presented at the 55th Annual Meeting of the ASCO in 2019.

“With the encouraging results, IBI305 is expected to be a high-quality and effective therapy for patients with solid tumours.”

The agreement also provides Coherus with an option to licence Innovent’s biosimilar to Rituxan (rituximab) (IBI301) in the US and Canada.

In June, the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) in China granted IBI301 priority review status.

The financial terms associated with the Innovent’s Rituxan biosimilar will be the same when exercised.