Jazz hands at RedX as deal signed to licence drugs that could be worth $870m

Lisa Anson

Cheshire-based drugs testing business RedX has signed a deal for Dublin-headquartered Jazz Pharmaceuticals to acquire Redx’s KRAS (Kirsten rat sarcoma virus) inhibitor program. 

For an initial $10million Jazz will work on clinical development, regulatory, manufacturing and commercialisation activities, which could land RedX $870 million in development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments from Jazz.

The next milestone could be clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Redx is also eligible for tiered, mid-single digit percentage royalties based on any future net sales.

“KRAS is a well-validated oncology target and there remains a high unmet need for innovation in this area based on challenges in developing molecules to target specific KRAS mutations. Redx has discovered a number of preclinical KRAS candidates and we plan to leverage our collective oncology development expertise to identify and advance the most promising molecules toward the clinic,” said Robert Iannone, M.D., M.S.C.E., executive vice president, global head of research and development of Jazz Pharmaceuticals. “This transaction further expands our early-stage oncology pipeline, and we are excited to explore novel approaches to improving treatment options for cancer patients.”

Lisa Anson, Chief Executive Officer of Redx, commented: “Once again, our distinguished expertise in medicinal chemistry has been recognized and we are pleased to secure another strategic transaction with Jazz, with whom we have a track record of collaboration. This agreement will allow us to collaborate on the advancement of novel KRAS inhibitors and we look forward to supporting Jazz in progressing these candidates through IND-enabling studies. Partnerships remain a key pillar of our corporate strategy, allowing us to advance what we believe are differentiated molecules in areas of high unmet need, while also creating long-term shareholder value through non-dilutive funding, with the upfront milestone payment from this agreement extending our current cash runway into 2025.”

As part of a separate collaboration agreement, signed in parallel, Jazz will pay Redx to perform research and preclinical development activities with the goal of completing IND-enabling studies for both KRAS profiles.

Dr Mike Mitchell, analyst at Panmure Gordon, issued an immediate BUY notice on RedX shares this morning, adding: “The announced acquisition of Redx’s KRAS inhibitor programme … is yet further recognition of Redx’s capacity to translate world-leading medicinal chemistry and oncology expertise into a valuable strategic partnership.”

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