VectivBio Holding AG (“VectivBio”) (Nasdaq: VECT), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering novel transformational treatments for severe rare conditions, today announced that it has entered two agreements that will strengthen the company’s balance sheet, bolster the company’s operations and expand apraglutide’s commercial potential beyond VectivBio’s core markets in the US and EU. The two agreements, together with VectivBio’s cash and cash equivalents as of December 31, 2021 of $103 million, provides up to $220 million in operating capital.
The company entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation (“Asahi Kasei Pharma”) to develop and commercialize apraglutide, a next-generation, long-acting GLP-2 analog, for the treatment of short bowel syndrome with intestinal failure (SBS-IF), steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) and future indications in Japan. Under the terms of the agreement, VectivBio will receive an upfront cash payment of approximately $30 million ($5 million of which is the first installment of Asahi Kasei Pharma’s development cost-sharing) and eligibility for up to approximately $170 million in milestone payments if certain development, regulatory and commercial events are achieved. VectivBio is also eligible to receive tiered, double-digit, escalating royalties on sales of apraglutide in Japan. Asahi Kasei Pharma has a right to participate in the development of new indications and lead and fund all development, registration and commercialization activities in Japan.
“We are excited to partner with Asahi Kasei Pharma, a leader in the Japanese pharmaceutical industry with a proven history of successful drug development, commercialization and global collaborations. This agreement accelerates the development of apraglutide in Japan, a key market outside our core commercial strategy. Moreover, it validates apraglutide’s best or first-in-class potential across a range of GI conditions and VectivBio’s ability to execute global development programs which includes Asia,” said Luca Santarelli, M.D., Ph.D., Founder and Chief Executive Officer of VectivBio.
“We are pleased to enter into this agreement with VectivBio, whose expertise in identifying and developing novel therapies to treat rare conditions makes them an attractive partner for Asahi Kasei Pharma. GLP-2 presents a well-established mechanism to impact gut health, protecting against damage and regenerating the GI tract, and apraglutide’s profile to date further suggests it may possess best-in-class physiological properties compared to other GLP-2 agonists,” said Yoshikazu Aoki, Ph.D., President of Asahi Kasei Pharma.
VectivBio also entered into a loan facility with Kreos Capital, a leading global growth lender to life sciences and healthcare companies, granting it access of up to a $75 million flexible loan facility with a minimum required drawdown of $10 million.
“The combination of these two deals provides us with increased optionality as we pursue our development priorities and continue to build our company into a global rare disease leader, extending our cash runway well beyond our major catalysts,” said Luca Santarelli.
“This is an exciting time for VectivBio as the Company progresses through the clinical development of apraglutide. We are very pleased to support the Company in bringing a new treatment to market for patients with SBS-IF. We have been very impressed by the team from the start and look forward to supporting them on this journey,” added Maurizio PetitBon, General Partner at Kreos Capital.
Source : https://ir.vectivbio.com/news-releases/news-release-details/vectivbio-announces-japan-license-deal-and-loan-facility/
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