Lupin signs second partnership for its oncology pipeline, this time with German drug maker BI

Indian pharma major Lupin and German drug maker Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) will come together to work on a cure for cancers which has never been treated before. BI and Lupin will together develop and commercialise a new drug called MEK inhibitor that will target specific cancer cells and potentially treat patients of skin and stomach cancer. Lupin will receive an upfront payment of $20 million with potential additional payments upto $700 million upon successful achievement of defined clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones. The company is also expected to receive double-digit royalties on the sales of the product upon commercialisation which would take at least seven years. The partnership will compliment BIís ongoing innovation on the new pathway called the KRAS inhibitors, which several drug companies across the world are chasing in the last few years. KRAS is a gene that suppresses the proliferation of cells, however a mutated KRAS gene leads to cell proliferation causing cancer. Lupinís head of drug discovery programe Raj Kamboj thinks that its own MEK inhibitor helps it to pair it with the KRAS inhibitor of BI to develop a new combination treatment. KRAS mutations occur in 1 in 7 of all human metastatic cancers making it the most frequently mutated cancer-causing gene, with mutation rates of more than 90 percent in pancreatic cancers, more than 40 percent in colorectal cancers and more than 30 percent in lung adenocarcinomas. ďNo body is working on this combinationĒ, Kamboj told to press on Wednesday. Lupinís MD Nilesh Gupta added that the company decided to take this drug forward as its molecule cleared early clinical stages.

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