Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co., Ltd. (KHK) has selected a second therapeutic oncology candidate from its research collaboration with Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, triggering a $5 million milestone payment to Dicerna.
The research collaboration and license agreement with KHK has a potential value of $1.4 billion for the research, development and commercialization of Dicer substrate siRNA (DsiRNA) pharmaceuticals and drug delivery systems for gene targets with therapeutic potential in oncology. DsiRNA delivered by KHK’s drug delivery system to the target has achieved positive activity in animal models of difficult-to-treat tumors.
“We are delighted that our collaboration with KHK has delivered a second product candidate that will advance to the development stage,” said Douglas M. Fambrough, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Dicerna. “Along with Dicerna’s own hepatocellular carcinoma program, we now have three announced oncology candidates, all utilizing Dicerna’s Dicer Substrate Technology™, in development. Each of these is moving toward the clinic with the goal of addressing unmet cancer therapy needs.”
“When we first entered this collaboration with Dicerna to access the Dicer Substrate Technology, we saw the potential for RNAi technology to create novel therapeutics targeting key genes at the root of cancer,” said Etsuo Ohshima, Ph.D., managing officer and vice president, head, research division at Kyowa Hakko Kirin. “This strategy is now providing KHK with multiple promising development candidates and helping to complement our oncology pipeline.”