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Janssen signs $2.5bn deal with Nanobiotix for late-stage radiotherapy enhancer

Janssen, a Johnson & Johnson company, has entered into a global licensing agreement with Nanobiotix worth over $2.5bn to gain the global rights to a drug designed to enhance the efficacy of radiotherapy.

Janssen will pay Nanobiotix $60m in upfront fees and funding for an exclusive worldwide licence to NBTXR3, with the France-based biotech eligible for success-based milestone payments of up to $1.8bn.

The agreement also includes a framework for additional success-based milestone payments of up to $650m for five new indications that Janssen may decide to develop on its own, and of up to $220m for joint development projects.

Radiotherapy is one of the most common treatment modalities for cancer, with more than 60% of patients undergoing it at some point during their treatment.

However, the dose and ultimate efficacy of radiotherapy are limited by the potential toxicity of radiation exposure to surrounding normal tissues. As a result, many patients receive a dose that is insufficient for tumour destruction.

NBTXR3, which is injected directly into a patient’s tumour before their first dose of radiotherapy, is designed to amplify the effect of the radiation within the tumour without increasing the dose in the surrounding healthy tissues.

The candidate is currently being evaluated in several studies across solid tumour indications, including a late-stage study in locally advanced head and neck cancer, and is also being evaluated for its potential as a systemic agent in combination with anti-PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitors in metastatic cancers.

Laurent Levy, Nanobiotix chairman of the executive board, said: “As pioneers in the field of nanotherapeutics for the past 20 years, we knew that the true impact of our innovation in oncology would be in its potential to reach millions of patients around the world. For that, we needed to find the right partner, at the right time, with proven global development and commercialisation capabilities.

“We are delighted to collaborate with Janssen as we aim to improve the lives of patients with cancer around the world.”

The deal comes just over two months after Janssen entered into a worldwide collaboration and licensing agreement with Cellular Biomedicine Group for a pair of CAR T-cell therapy candidates.



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