Eisai takes over ADC candidate, severs ties with BMS

Eisai has ended its partnership with Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) for the development and manufacturing of farletuzumab ecteribulin, formerly known as MORAb-202.

Shreeyashi Ojha, Reporter

July 8, 2024

1 Min Read

Announced in 2021, Eisai and BMS agreed to develop and commercialize MORAb-202 in Japan, China and the wider Asia-Pacific region, the US, Canada, the EU the UK and Russia, while BMS was to develop and commercialize the drug elsewhere.

However, citing ongoing portfolio prioritization efforts within BMS, Japan-based Eisai has taken control of global development and commercialization of the agent. According to Eisai, it will bolster production of farletuzumab as a high priority with the hope of delivering it to patients as early as possible.

Farletuzumab ecteribulin is Eisai’s first antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) candidate. It combines farletuzumab, a humanized IgG1 mAb that binds to the folate receptor alpha (FRα) on the surface of solid tumors and the anticancer agent eribulin, which is approved for the treatment of breast cancer and liposarcoma in various countries. The candidate is currently undergoing Phase I/II study for solid tumors, and Phase II for ovarian, peritoneal and fallopian tube cancers and non-small cell lung cancer.

At the time of the agreement, BMS was entitled to pay $650 million to Eisai including $200 million for research and development expenses. Eisai plans to refund a part of the unused portion of $200 million payment.

The firm did not respond when contacted by this publication.

About the Author(s)

Shreeyashi Ojha

Reporter, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering the manufacturing and processing sectors for biopharmaceuticals globally.  

Originally from India, I am a Londoner at heart. I have recently graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London.  

Feel free to reach out to me at: [email protected].

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