AbbVie Partners Lupin to Boost Hematological Cancer Pipeline

AbbVie Inc.ABBV and India-based Lupin Limited announced a partnership to develop and commercialize a novel cancer drug for the treatment of hematological cancer. The partnership grants AbbVie exclusive global rights to develop and commercialize Lupin's MALT1 (Mucosa-Associated Lymphoid Tissue Lymphoma Translocation Protein 1) inhibitor program.

MALT-1, a protein, is involved in T-cell and B-cell lymphocyte activation. AbbVie is planning to develop the MALT1 inhibitors across a range of hematological cancers, the majority of them with limited treatment options.

Per the terms of the agreement, AbbVie will pay $30 million to Lupin in upfront payment and will be liable to pay additional $947 million in future regulatory, development and commercial milestone payments. AbbVie will also pay double-digit royalty on sales, upon successful commercialization, to Lupin. The commercial rights in India for the drug will be held by Lupin.

Shares of AbbVie have plunged 13% year to date against the industry 's increase of 1.2%.

AbbVie believes that oncology will be its major growth driver over the next decade. The company is continuously working on expanding and accelerating its presence in oncology, building upon its growing position in the $30 billion hematological oncology market.

Meanwhile, AbbVie has a few oncology drugs in its marketed portfolio. Imbruvica, which is approved for several indications, has multi-billion dollar potential and AbbVie is exploring the potential to expand Imbruvica's label into solid tumors and autoimmune diseases. AbbVie expects Imbruvica peak sales of more than $7 billion and revenues of about $5 billion in 2020.

Apart from Imbruvica, Venclexta is another cancer drug, which is approved for some lymphoma indications. AbbVie is developing it for other hematologic malignancies.

AbbVie has several collaborations for developing its cancer pipeline, which include one with Roche RHHBY for Venclexta, Johnson & Johnson JNJ for Imbruvica and Bristol-Myers BMY for Empliciti among others.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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