Licensing agreement includes equity investment and potential development, clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones and tiered royalties
Ayala retains worldwide rights to all other indications for AL102
REHOVOT, Israel & WILMINGTON, Del., December 20, 2018 – (BUSINESS WIRE) – Ayala Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical-stage company developing medicines for cancers that are genetically identified, announced today that it entered into an option to license agreement with Novartis for its investigational agent AL102 in multiple myeloma. Under the terms of the deal, Ayala will receive a $10 million equity investment from Novartis and is eligible to receive development, clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones along with tiered royalties on net sales of AL102.
Novartis will conduct certain studies to evaluate AL102 in combination with its B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) therapies in multiple myeloma. Ayala will provide the drug supply. All development costs associated with the above studies will be fully born by Novartis. Ayala retains worldwide license rights for AL102 for all other indications.
“We are extremely pleased to enter this agreement with Novartis on AL102. Novartis has a strong commitment and expertise in oncology, and a proven record of success in drug development, making them an ideal strategic partner for AL102 in multiple myeloma,” said Roni Mamluk, PhD, chief executive officer at Ayala. “This collaboration is important to Ayala as it immediately strengthens our balance sheet, further validates our technology and accelerates the clinical development of AL102 as a combination therapy in hematologic cancers.”
AL102 is an oral small-molecule that inhibits gamma secretase, an enzyme which may be targeted to increase levels of BCMA, which is expressed in most multiple myeloma patients. BCMA is actively shed from multiple myeloma cells by gamma secretase, hence its inhibition by AL102 may increase BCMA levels on multiple myeloma cells. Therefore, AL102 is being studied to evaluate its clinical role in enhancing anti-BCMA therapies.
Ayala is committed to developing new targeted therapies for genomically-defined cancers in patient populations with high unmet medical need. In addition to investigating AL102 as an anti-BMCA therapy in multiple myeloma, Ayala is evaluating AL102 as an inhibitor of the Notch pathway in other hematologic cancers.
Multiple myeloma is a rare and aggressive blood cancer that accounts for approximately one percent of all cancers. In the U.S., there are nearly 90,000 people living with, or in remission from, multiple myeloma. Approximately, 26,850 Americans are diagnosed with multiple myeloma each year and 11,240 patient deaths are reported on an annual basis.