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Summit Therapeutics spikes 38% on licensing deal for cancer candidate

  • Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech Summit Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SMMT) jumped ~38% pre-market Tuesday after announcing a collaboration and license agreement with Hong Kong-listed biopharma Akeso for ivonescimab, a bispecific antibody targeted at various forms of cancer.
  • Ivonescimab is currently undergoing multiple studies, including a Phase 3 trial versus pembrolizumab as a single agent for first-line treatment of non-small cell lung cancer with positive PD-L1 expression.
  • China has issued breakthrough therapy designations for ivonescimab covering three cancer indications.
  • Per the terms, Akeso will out-license ivonescimab to Summit (SMMT) for the development and commercialization in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Japan in a deal worth up to $5B in total.
  • In addition to the low-double-digit percentage of royalties on net product sales and the opportunity co-brand the product in the licensed territories, Akeso will receive $500M upfront payments from Summit (SMMT).
  • The company will also appoint one member to Summit’s (SMMT) board and retain development and commercialization rights for ivonescimab in the remaining markets, including China.
  • Ahead of the deal, Summit (SMMT) shares surged after Chief Executive Robert Duggan purchased $92M worth of company shares in August.