China-based biotech company Asieris MediTech and Norwegian medical devices company Photocure, have signed a license agreement for the development and commercialization of Cevira for the treatment of HPV induced cervical precancerous lesions.
Cevira is a photodynamic drug-device combination product that is being developed for non-surgical treatment of high-grade cervical dysplasia.
Photocure said its Cevira is comprised of a convenient, fully integrated drug delivery and light device that can be intravaginally placed on the cervix by the gynaecologist and removed by the patient, with no disruption to normal daily activities.
Photocure president and CEO Daniel Schneider said: “We are proud to announce this agreement with Asieris, providing a global roadmap for the development and commercialization of Cevira.
“Cevira has the potential to be developed into the standard of care for the treatment of HPV infections and precancerous lesions, as a large population of women could benefit from a non-invasive treatment option for this condition.
“This agreement is in line with our vision of becoming a global bladder cancer company by divesting products that do not fit our therapeutic focus.We look forward to further cooperation with Asieris into bringing Cevira to the market.”
Asieris is expected to take responsibility for the manufacture of the Cevira product while Photocure retains responsibility for the manufacture of the active pharmaceutical ingredient.
Under the license agreement, Asieris would pay Photocure a total signing fee of $5m (£4m) within 6 months from the date of signing.
In addition, Photocure may receive a total of $18m (£14m) based upon achievement of certain clinical and regulatory milestones in China and up to $36m (£28m) for certain clinical and regulatory milestones in USA and EU.
Asieris CEO Kevin Pan said: “Cevira is a strategic fit for Asieris’ therapeutic focus on genitourinary (GU) diseases, particularly the oncological ones. Photocure is a global leader in developing photodynamically activated therapeutic and diagnostic products.
“Asieris has built strong development capabilities in the GU area in China and is rapidly expanding its global capability. Through the partnership with Photocure, we will endeavour to bring this innovative, non-surgical product to global market to fulfil a substantial unmet medical need in Women’s Health.”