VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 9, 2018 and TOKYO, Japan, May 10, 2018 – Aquinox Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AQXP, “Aquinox”), a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company discovering and developing novel drug candidates to treat inflammation, inflammatory pain, and blood cancers, and Astellas Pharma Inc. (TSE: 4503, “Astellas”) today announced an exclusive license agreement (“Agreement”) for Japan and certain other countries in the Asia-Pacific region for Astellas to develop and commercialize rosiptor, Aquinox’s lead drug candidate, a first-in-class, once-daily oral treatment currently in Phase 3 clinical development for interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) in North America and Europe.
Under the Agreement, Astellas will have the exclusive right to research, develop, and commercialize rosiptor for all human diseases and conditions in Japan and additional countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including major markets such as South Korea, Australia, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Malaysia, but excluding China and India.
“Astellas has a deep appreciation for the unmet need and potential market opportunity in interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome,” said David Main, President and CEO of Aquinox. “We believe this partnership will accelerate rosiptor’s development in the Asia-Pacific region and increase its commercial potential given Astellas’ strong presence and experience in these markets, leading commercial portfolio in urology, and track record of successfully introducing new treatments.”
Aquinox will receive an upfront payment of $25 million in connection with entry into the Agreement, and may also receive up to an additional $60 million in development milestone payments and $70 million in commercial milestone payments, as well as royalties on any future sales of rosiptor within the licensed territory.
“The agreement fits with our strategy to deliver innovative drugs in therapeutic areas with high unmet medical needs. Rosiptor has a novel mechanism of action, activation of SHIP1,” said Naoki Okamura, Chief Strategy Officer of Astellas. “Astellas has a history of discovery and development of the unique medical treatments to improve patients’ quality of life. By leveraging this strength, we aim to deliver this potential new therapeutic option to those patients who are suffering from IC/BPS.”
IC/BPS involves pain, pressure, and/or discomfort perceived to be related to the urinary bladder and is also associated with lower urinary tract symptoms in the absence of infection.