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Kyowa Kirin regains non-oncology rights to cancer drug from AVEO

Tokyo's Kyowa Kirin Co. Ltd. said it regained the non-oncology rights to tivozanib from AVEO Pharmaceuticals Inc. for an up-front payment of $25 million.

The companies amended their 2006 license agreement for Kyowa Kirin to buy back tivozanib's non-oncology rights in AVEO territories, including the U.S. and EU. The updated agreement does not cover tivozanib rights which are currently sublicensed to EUSA Pharma Inc.

In addition to the up-front payment, Kyowa Kirin will waive AVEO's obligation to make milestone payments — $18 million upon tivozanib's U.S. approval and up to $391 million subject to the achievement of certain development and commercial objectives in the drug's non-oncology indications.

Kyowa Kirin is also required to make tiered royalty payments on the net sales of such indications, ranging from high single-digit to low double-digit percent.

According to Kyowa Kirin, the transaction helps maximize the value of tivozanib by focusing on oncology development by AVEO and adding it back to the Japanese drugmaker's non-oncology pipeline.

Tivozanib, marketed as Fotivda, is already approved to treat adult patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma in the EU, Norway and Iceland.