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Pulmatrix, J&J enter licensing agreement to develop lung cancer therapies

Lexington, Mass.-based Pulmatrix Inc. entered into a licensing and development agreement with Johnson & Johnson for a portfolio of kinase inhibitors intended to treat lung cancer.

A kinase inhibitor blocks a type of enzyme called a kinase. Certain kinases are more active in some types of cancer cells and blocking them may help keep the cancer cells from growing.

As part of the agreement, J&J will have the option to access Pulmatrix's portfolio of narrow spectrum kinase inhibitors.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Lung Cancer Initiative at J&J will pay Pulmatrix $7.2 million upfront and an additional $2 million milestone payment after the completion of RV1162's ongoing phase 1b study in stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, patients. The study is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.

COPD is a term used to describe progressive lung diseases, including emphysema, chronic bronchitis and non-reversible asthma. Pulmatrix's lead kinase inhibitor RV1162, or PUR1800, based on its proprietary platform iSPERSE, is being developed for the treatment of such diseases.

If the Lung Cancer Initiative exercises the option to access RV1162 and Pulmatrix's portfolio of kinase inhibitors, Pulmatrix may receive an additional $91 million in royalties and development and commercial milestone payments.

Pulmatrix is a biopharmaceutical company that develops inhaled therapies to address serious pulmonary diseases.