SciClone in-licenses Ability oncology candidate for Greater China

Lab work

U.S.-based SciClone Pharmaceuticals has in-licensed a solid tumor drug candidate ABTL0812 from Spain's Ability Pharmaceuticals for Greater China rights in a deal worth potentially $20 million.

In a release, Ability said the candidate has completed a Phase I/Ib trial in Spain, and holds U.S. FDA and EMA Orphan Drug status for pediatric cancer neuroblastoma.

Under the terms of the deal, China-focused SciClone provided an unspecified upfront payment and agreed to handle development, as well as: regulatory efforts; pay milestones and royalties if the candidate makes it to approval.

In the first quarter earnings release, SciClone CEO Friedhelm Blobel highlighted an expanded oncology portfolio for the company in China.

"While still modest in size, our oncology portfolio is a key strategic asset for our company," he said. "We anticipate continued growth in the coming years as we introduce additional anticancer products into the market."

Among oncology products the company handles for sales in China are therapies from Pfizer ($PFE), Baxter ($BAX) and U.K.-based BTG.

In February, the company said it had settled with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or FCPA, in China-related sales for $12.8 million, including disgorgement, pre-judgment interest and a penalty.

- here's the release from Ability Pharmaceuticals
- and the SciClone earnings release