Onyx licenses to Ono Japanese rights to cancer drug

* Japan rights go for $59 mln upfront, total exceeds $300 mln

* Onyx to retain rights outside of Japan

By Deena Beasley

LOS ANGELES, Sept 8 (BestGrowthStock) – Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc
(ONXX.O: ) has sold the Japanese marketing rights for its
experimental multiple myeloma drug and a related compound to Ono
Pharmaceutical Inc (4528.OS: ) in a deal valued at more than $300
million, plus potential royalties.

The licensing agreement, which has an upfront payment of
about $59 million, covers carfilzomib, which Onyx expects will
soon be reviewed by U.S. regulators as a treatment for multiple
myeloma, and a related drug called ONX0912.

Ono has exclusive rights to develop and commercialize both
compounds for all oncology indications in Japan, while Onyx
retains commercialization rights in all other regions of the
world, the U.S. company said on Wednesday.

Onyx Chief Executive Officer Tony Coles said the company
expects to keep rights to the drugs in the United States and
Europe, but retains the flexibility to carry out licensing
deals in other parts of Asia and the world.

“We like the access this provides for us in Japan,” he told
Reuters in a telephone interview.

In July, Onyx unveiled data in which nearly a quarter of
extremely ill multiple myeloma patients who were no longer
being helped by current medicines responded to carfilzomib — a
far higher rate than would have been expected.

ONX0912, an oral drug with the same mechanism of action as
carfilzomib, which is given intravenously, is currently in
Phase 1 testing.

Onyx said it expects to submit a new drug application for
carfilzomib to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by
year-end, with a request for six-month accelerated approval.

(Reporting by Deena Beasley; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

Onyx licenses to Ono Japanese rights to cancer drug