PharmaMar has signed an agreement with Singapore-based Specialised Therapeutics Asia to market Aplidin (plitidepsin), a marine-based anti-tumor compound under development for the treatment of hematological tumors, including lymphoma, in 12 Southeast Asian countries
Aplidin is the second anti-tumor compound that PharmaMar developed from a marine organism, the ascidian Aplidium albicans. The compound is designed to specifically bind to the eEF1A2 protein, leading to tumor cell death via apoptosis.
A series of clinical trials into the compound are underway, including the Phase II clinical trial in relapsed/refractory angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma, the ADMYRE Phase III clinical trial in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma, and a Phase Ib clinical trial in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma with a combined treatment of plitidepsin, bortezomib and dexamethasone. Aplidin has been granted Orphan Drug status by both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
“We are proud to enter into agreements with laboratories such as STA that enable us to ensure that all patients who need plitidepsin will have access to it. We are firmly committed to advancing in the development of innovative oncology therapies,” José María Fernández Sousa-Faro, PharmaMar’s chairman, said in a press release.
The countries where the treatment is expected to be sold are Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Myanmar, Malaysia, Laos, Indonesia, East Timor, Cambodia, and Brunei.
“We look forward to working with PharmaMar to ensure this valuable multiple myeloma therapy is available as soon as possible to patients in key South East Asia regions, as well as in Australia and New Zealand. Aplidin may be highly valuable as a new therapeutic for this difficult to treat cancer. While multiple myeloma remains relatively rare, it is an insidious disease with one of the lowest survival rates in oncology,” said Carlo Montagner, chief executive officer of Specialised Therapeutics Asia.
PharmaMar will be entitled to an upfront payment, recurring sales payments, and additional sales remunerations and regulatory milestones attained by Aplidin under the agreement. The company will also retain exclusive production rights.