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  5. ARIAD and Otsuka Announced Co-development and Commercialization Agreement for Iclusig® to Treat Leukemias in Japan and Nine Other Asian Countries

December 23, 2014

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.


ARIAD and Otsuka Announced Co-development and
Commercialization Agreement for Iclusig® to Treat Leukemias in
Japan and Nine Other Asian Countries

  • ARIAD to receive upfront payment of USD 77.5 million and subsequent milestone-based payments
  • Otsuka to obtain rights in ten Asian countries to Iclusig, a newest-generation treatment for patients with refractory chronic myeloid leukemia and Ph+ acute lymphoblastic leukemia

ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc.(ARIAD) and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Otsuka) today announced that they have entered into an agreement for Otsuka to commercialize ARIAD's Iclusig® (ponatinib) in Japan and nine other Asian countries and to fund future clinical trials in those countries. ARIAD will lead the completion of the Japanese New Drug Application (NDA) for Iclusig, and Otsuka will file the NDA on behalf of both companies for regulatory approval in resistant and intolerant chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and Philadelphia-chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ALL) in 2015. Iclusig is an approved BCR-ABL inhibitor in the United States and Europe.

The agreement provides for Otsuka to receive exclusive rights to market Iclusig in Japan and nine other Asian countries (the "Territory") in return for an upfront payment of $77.5 million to ARIAD, a milestone payment upon regulatory approval in Japan for patients with resistant and intolerant Philadelphia-positive leukemias, and additional milestone payments for approval in other indications.

Following approvals in the Territory, Otsuka will conduct sales activities and record sales. ARIAD will also receive a substantial share of net product sales.

ARIAD will continue to fund until the completion its ongoing pivotal trial of Iclusig that will form the basis of the filing for regulatory approval in Japan, while Otsuka will fund additional agreed-upon clinical studies in the Territory. For ARIAD-sponsored global studies that include sites in Japan, Otsuka has the option to contribute to the funding and gain access to the data for use in the Territory.

"This agreement meets one of our key strategic objectives - establishing a strong partnership with an experienced and committed Japanese pharmaceutical company to commercialize and co-develop Iclusig in Japan and Asia," said Harvey J. Berger, M.D., chairman and chief executive officer of ARIAD. "Otsuka is building a leading hematology and oncology business in Japan and Asia and is an outstanding partner to successfully commercializing Iclusig in these markets."

"Over the past several years, we have worked with the leading hematology experts in Japan and have run the Phase 1/2 clinical trial that will form the basis for our marketing authorization application," he added. "Together with Otsuka, we will be able to make this cancer medicine available to refractory Philadelphia-positive leukemia patients in need of new treatment options."

Otsuka Pharmaceutical President and Representative Director Taro Iwamoto noted, "The future arrival of ARIAD's ponatinib in Japan and elsewhere in Asia will be an important evolution for patients with CML and Philadelphia-positive ALL with BCR-ABL gene expression, said to be particularly difficult to treat. Treatments have been inadequate for patients with these life-threatening conditions and we aim to contribute to improve the treatment available to them. ARIAD's high-level drug discovery technology powered its discovery of ponatinib and Otsuka aims to maintain this momentum by making it part of our expanded portfolio in blood cancers from pre-treatment conditioning to treatments."

A joint development and commercialization committee will oversee clinical development and commercialization of Iclusig in the Territory, including approval of any development or commercialization plans. Otsuka will have exclusive commercial rights to Iclusig and will promote it as its sole tyrosine kinase inhibitor in the Territory. In addition to Japan, the other Asian countries that are included in this agreement are China, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

About Iclusig® (ponatinib) tablets

Iclusig is a kinase inhibitor discovered by ARIAD. The primary target for Iclusig is BCR-ABL, an abnormal tyrosine kinase that is expressed in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and Philadelphia-chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL). Iclusig was designed using ARIAD's computational and structure-based drug-design platform specifically to inhibit the activity of BCR-ABL. Iclusig targets not only native BCR-ABL but also its isoforms that carry mutations that confer resistance to treatment, including the T315I mutation, which has been associated with resistance to other approved TKIs.


ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc., headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Lausanne, Switzerland, is an integrated global oncology company focused on transforming the lives of cancer patients with breakthrough medicines. ARIAD is working on new medicines to advance the treatment of various forms of chronic and acute leukemia, lung cancer and other difficult-to-treat cancers. ARIAD utilizes computational and structural approaches to design small-molecule drugs that overcome resistance to existing cancer medicines. For additional information, visit or follow ARIAD on Twitter (@ARIADPharm).

Information in this news release was current as of the original release date.

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