Cell Therapeutics (CT) has gained worldwide rights to S*BIO's pacritinib, a highly selective oral JAK2 (Janus associated kinase 2) inhibitor that demonstrated "encouraging" clinical activity in Phase I and II studies of patients with primary myelofibrosis (MF) and MF secondary to other myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN). Pacritinib has orphan drug designation in the US and Europe for myelofibrosis.
Under the terms of the asset purchase agreement between CT and S*BIO, CT made an upfront payment of US$2 million in cash at signing. CT also made a final payment of US$13 million in cash, along with 15,000 preferred stock that is convertible into CT common shares of CT. The asset purchase also includes regulatory success- and sales-based milestone payments, as well as single-digit royalties on net sales. Going forward, CT will be solely responsible for development and commercialisation activities of pacritinib worldwide.
Pacritinib is an oral, once a day, tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) with dual activity against JAK2 and FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3). Mutations in these kinases have been shown to be directly related to the development of a variety of blood-related cancers including MPN, leukaemia and lymphoma. A Phase III study for patients with myelofibrosis is at the planning stage.