Biopharmaceutical company Verastem has signed a definitive agreement to divest the global commercial and development rights for Copiktra (duvelisib) to Secura Bio in a deal valued at up to $381m.

The drug is an oral, dual inhibitor of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)-delta and PI3K-gamma, indicated to treat chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, refractory follicular lymphoma and peripheral T-cell lymphoma in some patients.

This sale is in line with Verastem’s strategy to focus on a KRAS mutant (KRASmt) solid tumour programme, which will initially target low-grade serous ovarian cancer (LGSOC) and KRASmt non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Verastem Oncology CEO Brian Stuglik said: “By focusing our expertise and efforts on rapidly advancing the RAF/MEK/FAK development programme, we believe we will be providing the best path forward for patients, customers, our shareholders and our company.

“The agreement with Secura Bio will ensure Copiktra continues to help more patients, leveraging the established commercial structure, support of ongoing clinical study and potential expansion into new indications.”

Under the agreement, Verastem will receive $70m in an upfront payment upon the closing of the deal and is also eligible for up to a total of $311m in certain regulatory and sales-based milestones.

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The deal will provide Secura Bio with an exclusive global licence for the research, development, commercialisation and manufacture of Copiktra across all cancer indications.

Secura Bio will be responsible for all operational and financial activities that were part of Verastem’s duvelisib programme, including commercialisation efforts in the US and Europe, as well as ongoing clinical trials.

The agreement also covers Verastem’s collaborations with Yakult, CSPC and Sanofi, along with existing royalty obligations.

Secura Bio is also discussing the transfer of Verastem’s field sales and medical professionals.

Subject to customary closing conditions, the agreement should close in the third quarter of this year.