Discussions extended for China and other rights
Athersys, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATHX) announced today that it has entered into an agreement with HEALIOS K.K. (“Healios”) to expand their collaboration into additional therapeutic areas. Under the terms of the agreements, Healios obtained exclusive licenses for the development and commercialization in Japan of MultiStem® therapy for the treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome (“ARDS”) and of MultiStem cells used in combination with iPSC-derived cells for the treatment of certain organs. Healios also received an exclusive global license to develop and commercialize MultiStem cells, either as a standalone therapy or in combination with retinal pigmented epithelial (“RPE”) cells for certain ophthalmological indications, and an expansion of its license to use Athersys technology to support its organ bud programs to include other transplantation areas. In exchange, Athersys receives $20 million in license fees, comprising $10 million paid from an escrow account established with the letter of intent signed in March 2018 and four installments of $2.5 million each to be paid in this and the next three quarters.
As part of the agreement, Athersys may also receive up to approximately $360 million in aggregate development and commercialization milestones for the licensed programs, as well as tiered double-digit royalties on MultiStem therapies developed for ARDS, and single-digit royalties for other licensed products. Under the terms of the agreement, Healios will also receive a credit of $10 million to be used against certain future development milestones and a right of first negotiation to broaden the field and territory related to MultiStem cells used in combination with iPSC-derived cells.
Also as part of the agreement, Healios has been granted a right of first negotiation regarding an exclusive option for a license to develop and commercialize MultiStem therapy for certain indications in China, and the potential inclusion of an additional indication to the Japan license.
“We are excited about completing this collaboration expansion with Healios,” commented Dr. Gil Van Bokkelen, Chairman and CEO of Athersys. “It creates exciting opportunities in meaningful therapeutic areas where there is substantial unmet medical need and tangible value for both companies, building off of the work already conducted by Athersys in certain areas, including ARDS.”
In association with Healios’ recent equity investment and the expanded collaboration, Dr. Hardy Kagimoto, CEO of Healios, has been nominated for election to the Athersys Board of Directors at the next scheduled annual stockholders’ meeting on June 18, 2018.