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Astellas Walks Away From $450M Research & Discovery Partnership With Cytokinetics

  • Cytokinetics Inc (NASDAQ: CYTKrevealed in an SEC filing that Astellas Pharma Inc (OTCMKTS: ALPMY) is walking away from a pact to research and develop skeletal sarcomere activators for diseases associated with muscle weakness.
  • Astellas had extended the research pact initially set to expire on December 31 last year, through March of this year.
  • But last week, Astellas gave written notice that it wants out of the pact altogether and gives up “all licenses and other rights” granted through the pact.
  • In 2013, Astellas had initially signed up to get exclusive rights to co-develop and sell skeletal sarcomere activators in all indications.
  • In turn, Cytokinetics had the right to co-promote and do some sales work in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.
  • Should these drugs have been taken forward solely by Astellas, Cytokinetics could have received over $450 million in pre-commercialization and commercialization milestones plus royalties.
  • No reason was given for the breakup, which will be official this November 1, nor updates on the programs. Cytokinetics is set to release its financials later this week.
  • It comes two years after Cytokinetics’ reldesemtiv missed the primary endpoint in phase 2 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis trial. The Astellas-partnered drug failed to beat placebo on a lung function test in May 2019.
  • It also comes a few months after Amgen Inc (NASDAQ: AMGNculled its pact with Cytokinetics for heart failure omecamtiv mecarbil after unimpressive Phase 3 data.
  • Price Action: CYTK shares are up 1.65% at $25.86, and ALPMY shares are up 0.98% at $15.14 during market trading hours on the last check Monday.

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