Tesaro licenses PDUFA-status candidate rolapitant to China's Jiangsu Hengrui

U.S.-based biotech Tesaro ($TSRO) has in-licensed China rights to its candidate to treat nausea in chemotherapy patients to China's Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine as it looks ahead to a pending review decision by the U.S. FDA.

The candidate, rolapitant, has a PDUFA goal date of Sept. 5, Tesaro said in a press release, noting that it has not been approved by any regulatory agency.

Under unspecified financial terms, Hengrui has made an upfront payment and will also make milestone payments, plus pay royalties on any net China sales of the drug.

In May of last year, Tesaro said the candidate hit all the primary and secondary goals of Phase III trials, though investors' reception has been muted as Merck ($MRK) already has a successful rival therapy, Emend, on the market.

For Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine, a multi-billion dollar market cap manufacturer and distributor of drugs and APIs in China and New Jersey, the deal is part of stepped-up dealmaking and expansion recently.

In July, the company signed a deal with China-based cancer diagnostics firm Shuwen Biotech to work on development of a companion diagnostic for an unspecified Hengrui cancer treatment.

The firm also said it set up a unit in a research park in Suzhou with a registered capital of RMB100 million ($16.11 million) and then spent RMB850 million (US$137 million) to have wholly-owned subsidiary Suncadia build a biologics manufacturing plant.

It joins firms such as Innovent Biologics due to come online in Suzhou with biologics manufacturing operations.

The company already has its own unit in Shanghai that produces for clinical trials.

Among current trials, in the U.S. and China are GFR/HER2 inhibitor for HER2+ breast cancer candidate pyrotinib in Phase II, and DPP-4 inhibitor for Type 2 diabetes retgliptin in Phase III.

And in May, Hong Kong-based MabSpace Biosciences and Jiangsu Hengrui announced plans to co-develop novel antibody therapeutics on two unspecified targets, which followed FDA approval of its oxaliplatin to treat colon and rectal cancer the same month.

- here's the Tesaro release
- and the Jiansu Hengrui Suzhou release (Chinese language)