German Biotech Strikes License Deal with Japanese Dermatology Firm

4SC has granted an exclusive worldwide license to the Japanese dermatology firm Maruho on a class of compounds against the Kv1.3 ion channel.

Under the agreement, 4SC could receive up to €105M in upfront and milestone payments plus royalties on future sales. The deal is part of the German company’s strategy to out license non-core program and focus instead on three core compounds against cancer. The most advanced one, resminostat, is an epigenetics drug that has been evaluated in Phase II clinical trials for hepatocellular carcinoma, with potential in cutaneous T cell lymphoma and pancreatic cancer as well.

The compound class licensed to Osaka-based Maruho are inhibitors of Kv1.3, an ion channel with an essential role in the activation and proliferation of T cells. These inhibitors are designed to only affect chronically activated T cells, which are blamed for multiple autoimmune diseases.

The cash from this new deal adds to the €41M 4SC raised two weeks ago in a capital increase aimed at funding the German biotech until 2020 and support the accelerated approval plan for its three core candidates.


Picture: Osaka Castle via Nonthachai Saksri / Shutterstock

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