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Array Biopharma acquires encorafenib rights from Novartis

Posted on 26 January 2015

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Array BioPharma has reached a definitive agreement with Novartis Pharma to acquire worldwide rights to encorafenib (LGX818), a BRAF inhibitor currently in Phase 3 development.

This agreement is conditional on the closing of transactions announced by Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) on April 22, 2014, which are expected to close in the first half of 2015, and the agreement remains subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals.

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Array previously announced a definitive agreement with Novartis to regain global rights to the Phase 3 MEK inhibitor binimetinib, the material terms of which remain in place following this agreement.

In order to address competition concerns raised by the European Commission, Array has agreed to obtain an experienced partner for global development and European commercialization of both binimetinib and encorafenib.

The European Commission is expected to issue a decision regarding the Novartis-GSK transaction on January 28, 2015.

Upon satisfaction of all conditions and closing of the deal, Array will acquire global rights to encorafenib.

Other than a de minimis payment due to Novartis from Array, there are no milestone payments or royalties payable under this agreement by either party.

Novartis has agreed to provide transitional regulatory, clinical development and manufacturing services as specified below and will assign or license to Array all patent and other intellectual property rights Novartis owns to the extent relating to encorafenib.

As part of the transaction, Array has agreed to obtain an experienced partner for global development and European commercialization of both binimetinib and encorafenib.

If Array is unable to find a suitable partner in the prescribed time period, a trustee would have the right to sell such European rights.

Novartis will conduct and fund the COLUMBUS trial through the earlier of June 30, 2016 or completion of last patient first visit.

At that time, Array will assume responsibility for the trial, while Novartis will reimburse Array for out-of-pocket costs along with 50% of Array's full time equivalent (FTE) costs in connection with completing the COLUMBUS trial.

Novartis is responsible for conducting all other encorafenib trials until their completion or transfer to Array for a defined transition period.

For all trials transferred to Array, Novartis will reimburse Array for out-of-pocket costs and 50% of Array's FTE costs in connection with completing the trials.

Novartis will supply encorafenib for clinical and commercial use for up to 30 months after closing and will also assist Array in the technology and manufacturing transfer of encorafenib.

Novartis will also provide Array continued access to several Novartis pipeline compounds for use in currently ongoing combination studies, and possible future studies, including Phase 3 trials, with encorafenib.

The effectiveness of the agreement is subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals and to the consummation of the Novartis-GSK transaction.

In addition, Array agreed to undertake to obtain certain third party consents or waivers necessary for Array to consummate the transactions under the Novartis Agreement.

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