Chimerix pays $30M to secure rights for late-stage leukemia drug

Posted by on Aug 3, 2019

DURHAM. N.C. – Chimerix has raised nearly $35 million in equity to buy the exclusive global rights to a new drug that can potentially treat a range of blood cancers.

This week, the Durham-based biopharmaceutical company announced an agreement with Cantex Pharmaceuticals for the worldwide license of CX-01.

The new chemical entity is derived from the anticoagulant herapin and is being developed to treat acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Under the terms of the deal, Chimeriz will pay Cantex $30 million upfront, up to $587.5 million in milestines, tiered royalties starting at 10 percent and 10 million shares of common stock.

The same day as the announcement, the firm announced it had raised around 35 million in equity in funding from one investor, according to a SEC filing.

With more than 21,000 new cases of AML diagnosed annually in the U.S. alone and a five-year survival rate of less than 30%, the patient need is clear,” Chimerix CEO Mike Sherman said in a statement.

Added Dr. Paul Shami, clinical investigator at Huntsman Cancer Institute and Professor of Medicine at the University of Utah: “If our results are confirmed, combining CX-01 with chemotherapy has the potential to have a significant impact on the outcomes of patients suffering from one of the most challenging hematologic malignancies.”

Results from a Phase 2 trial evaluating CX-01 plus 7+# chemo in AML patients showed as 89 Percent complete response rate compared to 58 percent for chemo alone.

Chimerix now plans to launch a pivotal Phase 3 study in AML by mid-2020.

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