US-based biotechnology company XBiotech has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Israel-based biotech marketing company Megapharm, to market Xilonix for the treatment of advanced colorectal cancer in Israel.

Colorectal cancer is developed from the colon or rectum, also known as parts of the large intestine, and occurs due to the abnormal growth of cells that can easily spread to other parts of the body.

XBiotech founder, president and CEO John Simard said: "We are very pleased to partner with Megapharm to bring Xilonix to patients in this important market.

"Megapharm has a proven track record of commercial success working with some of the world’s leading biotech and pharmaceutical companies, and their deep experience in oncology makes them an ideal partner.

"We are very pleased to partner with Megapharm to bring Xilonix to patients in this important market."

"This partnership is consistent with our plan to build marketing and distribution expertise in regional markets that will enable us to focus our internal commercialisation efforts in Europe."

XBiotech’s Xilonix is currently under accelerated review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), with the decision on approval expected in the fourth quarter of this year.

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Xilonix has received Fast Track designation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of patients affected with colorectal cancer.

Megapharm CEO Miron Drucker said: "Xilonix meets a significant unmet need for the growing number of advanced colorectal cancer patients who seek an effective treatment option that is not encumbered by debilitating side effects."

As part of the deal, Megapharm will pay an undisclosed upfront fee to XBiotech, which will be followed by payments upon the completion of specific commercial and regulatory milestones including the approval of Xilonix for sale in Israel.

After the approval, Megapharm will purchase Xilonix from XBiotech.

XBiotech is a developer of True Human antibody therapies, which obtain human antibodies from people who have a natural immunity to certain diseases.