Country for PR: Japan
Contributor: Kyodo News JBN
Tuesday, February 05 2019 - 19:00
Taiho Pharmaceutical and Cullinan Oncology Establish Collaboration to Develop TAS6417, Novel EGFR Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor
TOKYO and CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, Feb. 5, 2019 /Kyodo JBN-AsiaNet/--

-FIH Study in EGFR Exon 20 Insertions Will Commence in 2019- 

Taiho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and Cullinan Oncology, LLC announced on February 
5 an agreement to develop TAS6417, a novel EGFR (epidermal growth factor 
receptor) tyrosine kinase inhibitor discovered by Taiho Pharmaceutical. 



Under the terms of the agreement, Taiho Pharmaceutical will grant an exclusive, 
global license ex-Japan for the development and commercialization of TAS6417 to 
Cullinan Pearl, a newly formed US-based company under the Cullinan Oncology 
umbrella. Taiho Pharmaceutical will receive an upfront payment, regulatory and 
sales milestones, as well as royalties based on net sales. Taiho Ventures, LLC, 
a strategic corporate venture arm of Taiho Pharmaceutical, alongside Cullinan 
Oncology, will provide funding for Cullinan Pearl's Series A.

"The Taiho's drug research team created a unique molecule targeting EGFR Exon 
20 insertion mutation using proprietary drug discovery platform technology. 
This alliance, one of the first of its kind at Taiho Pharmaceutical, allows our 
organization to optimize its R&D resource allocation and accelerate global 
development by accessing external talent and resources. We are pleased to 
partner with Cullinan Oncology and its experienced management team in bringing 
this novel treatment to NSCLC patients," said Teruhiro Utsugi, Managing 
Director of Taiho Pharmaceutical.

Cullinan Pearl will utilize Cullinan Oncology's shared service platform to 
develop TAS6417, which relies on a central management team and a network of 
integrated collaborators to help drive the development of pre-clinical and 
clinical assets.  

"We are excited to partner with Taiho Pharmaceutical and Taiho Ventures in 
exploring the utility of this novel drug in a patient population with limited 
options to date. We are thankful for Taiho's trust in our team's ability to 
execute the clinical development of this exciting asset," stated Owen Hughes, 
CEO of Cullinan Oncology.

About TAS6417
TAS6417 is an orally available tyrosine kinase inhibitor designed to target 
activating mutations in EGFR. The molecule was engineered to inhibit EGFR 
variants with exon 20 insertion mutations, while sparing wild-type EGFR. 
TAS6417 is a clinical candidate for NSCLC driven by EGFR exon 20 insertion 
mutations and is expected to be a novel therapeutic option for the patients 
with highly unmet medical needs.

About Taiho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Japan)
Taiho Pharmaceutical, a subsidiary of Otsuka Holdings Co., Ltd., is an 
R&D-driven specialty pharma focusing on the three fields of oncology, allergy 
and immunology, and urology. Its corporate philosophy takes the form of a 
pledge: "We strive to improve human health and contribute to a society enriched 
by smiles." In the field of oncology in particular, Taiho Pharmaceutical is 
known as a leading company in Japan for developing innovative medicines for the 
treatment of cancer, a reputation that is rapidly expanding through their 
extensive global R&D efforts. In areas other than oncology, as well, the 
company creates and markets quality products that effectively treat medical 
conditions and can help improve people's quality of life. Always putting 
customers first, Taiho Pharmaceutical also aims to offer consumer healthcare 
products that support people's efforts to lead fulfilling and rewarding lives.

About Taiho Ventures
Taiho Ventures, LLC is the strategic corporate venture capital arm of Taiho 
Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., a Japanese specialty pharma focusing on oncology, 
allergy and immunology, and urology. With the recently expanded $300M under 
management, Taiho Ventures is looking at early-stage preclinical oncology 
companies as well as platform technology companies for our core therapeutic 
areas. Taiho Ventures will review the wide variety of modalities for both 
biologics and small molecules. The company will also consider the option type 
of investments and spin-outs, in addition to the pure equity investments.

About Cullinan Oncology
Cullinan Oncology was formed to develop a diversified portfolio of highly 
promising single asset oncology opportunities through both internal and 
external means and to do so in a unique, cost-efficient model that leverages a 
central management team and shared services model to drive speed and 
efficiency. For additional information, please visit

Source: Taiho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
        Cullinan Oncology, LLC