Singapore-based biopharmaceutical company Specialised Therapeutics Asia (ST Asia) will commercialise a new anti-cancer compound known as lurbinectedin (PM1183) throughout South East Asia, following a second major licensing deal with Spanish pharmaceutical firm PharmaMar.

The agreement gives ST Asia marketing and distributing rights for lurbinectedin in South East Asia, along with Australia and New Zealand.

ST Asia chief executive officer Carlo Montagner said: “We have the highest regard for PharmaMar and are pleased to partner once again, pursuing development of this highly promising oncology compound.

“We eagerly await data from these final stage studies and look forward to making new therapies like this available to patients throughout our regions who are affected by difficult to treat cancers.”

Lurbinectedin, an inhibitor of RNA polymerase II, is currently in the final stage (Phase III) trials as a potential new treatment for different solid tumours, including platinum-resistant ovarian cancer and small cell lung cancer.

The compound is also being evaluated in a Phase II trial for metastatic breast cancer with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations.

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"We remain committed to advancing the development of innovative therapies that may benefit society."

ST Asia did not disclose the commercial terms of the agreement.

However, PharmaMar will be entitled to receive an upfront payment, royalties and other emoluments with regards to regulatory and sales milestones achieved in these new markets.

PharmaMar chairman José María Fernandez Sousa-Faro said: “We are proud to enter into a new agreement with ST Asia, enabling us to reach new populations of cancer patients who may benefit from our novel therapies.

“We remain committed to advancing the development of innovative therapies that may benefit society.”

Under the deal, a ST Asia affiliate company will also make an equity investment in PharmaMar, which will continue to retain the development and production rights of lurbinectedin.

PharmaMar will deliver the finished product to ST Asia for exclusive commercial use in all agreed regions, subject to all regulatory processes.

Data from the Phase III study of lurbinectedin in resistant ovarian cancer (CORAIL) is expected to be received later this year.