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Equillium grants Ono Pharma an option to purchase rights to itolizumab for about $164M

  • Equillium (NASDAQ:EQ) is trading ~7% higher after the company said it had granted Ono Pharma an option to purchase rights to itolizumab, its monoclonal antibody targeting CD6 that treats to severe psoriasis.
  • Equillium will receive an upfront payment of about $26.0M, and is eligible to receive up to about $138.5M in option exercise and milestone payments.
  • Under the deal, Ono will fund Equillium’s continued research and development of itolizumab during the exercise period.
  • These rights include all therapeutic indications and the rights to commercialize itolizumab in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, the company said.
  • "Through this partnership, we have secured the resources necessary to continue advancing our Phase 3 EQUATOR study of itolizumab in the treatment of first-line acute graft-versus-host disease, a severe life-threatening disease, and our ongoing EQUALISE study in lupus nephritis," said Bruce Steel, Chief Executive Officer at Equillium.
  • The option period will expire three months following topline data from the EQUALISE study in lupus nephritis and interim data from the EQUATOR Phase 3 study in acute GVHD.