Novartis expands Oncology pipeline with in-licensing of tislelizumab from BeiGene
Agreement expands Novartis Oncology portfolio, adding late-stage PD-1 for monotherapy and potential proprietary PD-1 combinations, driving mid- and long-term growth
Novartis secures development and commercialization rights in North America, Europe, and Japan
Accelerates Novartis immuno-oncology combination strategy with multiple potential tislelizumab plus Novartis therapy combinations
- Tislelizumab already approved for patients with classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma and metastatic urothelial carcinoma in China; 15 registration-enabling clinical trials under way in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and other solid tumors
Basel, January 11, 2021 — Novartis has signed a strategic collaboration agreement to in-license tislelizumab from BeiGene, Ltd. in major markets outside of China, accelerating the potential for Novartis to enter the large and growing checkpoint inhibitor field. Tislelizumab is an anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody specifically designed to minimize binding to FcγR on macrophages. In pre-clinical studies, binding to FcγR on macrophages has been shown to compromise the anti-tumor activity of PD-1 antibodies through activation of antibody-dependent macrophage-mediated killing of T effector cells.
Under the terms of the agreement, Novartis will obtain the development and commercialization rights to tislelizumab in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the European Union, United Kingdom, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Russia, and Japan in exchange for an upfront payment of USD 650 million plus royalties and milestone payments. BeiGene will retain the rights to tislelizumab in China and other countries. The transaction has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies.
More than 7,700 patients have been enrolled in 15 potentially registration-enabling clinical trials with tislelizumab in a dozen indications, including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, gastric cancer and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The first ex-China regulatory filing is expected in 2021. In addition, Novartis and BeiGene have identified multiple tislelizumab plus Novartis therapy combination clinical trial opportunities in solid tumors.