Kezar Life Sciences and Everest Medicines have signed a partnership and licence agreement for the development and commercialisation of zetomipzomib for lupus nephritis (LN) in select territories.

The territories covered under the agreement include Greater China, South Korea and South East Asia.

As per the deal terms, Kezar is eligible to receive up to $132.5m in initial upfront and milestone payments contingent on meeting development, regulatory and commercialisation goals in the future.

Kezar will also receive tiered royalty payments on net product sales from Everest.

Everest will obtain sole rights for developing and marketing zetomipzomib in regions such as Greater China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.

Everest will also collaborate with Kezar for the Phase IIb PALIZADE clinical trial of zetomipzomib, an immunoproteasome inhibitor of Kezar, in active LN patients in Greater China, South Korea and South East Asia.

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In the licensed territories, Everest will be responsible for the trial expenditures and will also provide its regional regulatory and trial capabilities for the PALIZADE study.

The companies will also evaluate the potential use of zetomipzomib for additional indications apart from LN.

Kezar Life Sciences co-founder and CEO John Fowler said: “Everest stood out as an ideal regional partner due to its strong nephrology focus and outstanding team with deep global pharma experience.

“It is clear that they understand zetomipzomib’s broad potential and that their team will integrate seamlessly with ours to help drive enrolment in PALIZADE, our global lupus nephritis trial.”

In April 2023, Everest introduced its immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy drug Tarpeyo (Nefecon, budesonide) in the Hainan Boao Pilot Zone of China.