CStone Pharmaceuticals and Pfizer Investment Co. Ltd. and Pfizer Corporation Hong Kong Limited announced the formation of a strategic collaboration that encompasses a $200 million equity investment by Pfizer Hong Kong in CStone, collaboration between CStone and Pfizer Investment for the development and commercialization of CStone’s sugemalimab (CS1001, PD-L1 antibody) in mainland China, and a framework between CStone and Pfizer Investment to bring additional oncology assets to the Greater China market.
This collaboration provides financing to support CStone’s development of sugemalimab, a potential best-in-class PD-L1 antibody that is being developed for high-incidence cancer indications in China, including lung, gastric and esophageal cancers, among others. Pfizer will in-license and exclusively lead commercialization of sugemalimab in China, harnessing its industry-leading capabilities to help doctors and patients across a far wider range of regions gain greater access to this treatment. The collaboration positions CStone and Pfizer to develop and commercialize additional oncology assets for the Greater China market.
“Pfizer’s investment in CStone is a statement of its confidence in the potential of our anti-PD-L1 treatment and recognition of our research and development capabilities,” said Frank Jiang, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CStone. “By joining forces with Pfizer and leveraging its commercialization infrastructure, we will ensure that patients across a vastly expanded number of markets in China have quicker access to our highly differentiated PD-L1 treatment. In addition, we have advanced our transformation into a full-fledged biopharmaceutical company by forging a collaboration that will enable us to accelerate development and commercialization of globally innovative therapies for Chinese patients.”
“Our company has an extensive and proud history of bringing innovative medicines to patients in China,” said Pierre Gaudreault, Acting President of Pfizer Biopharmaceuticals Group China. “This collaboration with CStone builds on that history by helping to develop a potential best-in-class PD-L1 treatment that we can commercialize upon approval. It also fosters our collaboration with a partner that has exceptional clinical development capabilities that can help us meet the clear need for novel oncology treatments in China.”
Key Components and Financial Terms of the Collaboration
Pfizer obtains exclusive commercialization rights to sugemalimab in mainland China, while CStone continues to lead clinical development and regulatory strategy for five selected indications.
CStone is entitled to receive up to $280 million in milestone payments for sugemalimab and additional tiered royalties.
CStone retains all development and commercialization rights to sugemalimab outside mainland China.
Pfizer will invest $200 million, consisting of 115,928,803 CStone shares at a price of US$1.725 per share (approximately HK$13.37 per share). As a result of its equity investment, Pfizer will hold a 9.90 percent stake in CStone.
CStone and Pfizer will together select late-stage (post proof-of-concept) oncology assets for co-development in the Greater China market. These assets may come either from Pfizer’s pipeline or through joint in-licensing.
CStone and Pfizer may pursue on a selected basis joint in-licensing arrangements for additional oncology assets for the Greater China market.
The transaction has received the necessary internal approvals of both companies. Closing is not subject to approval by CStone’s shareholders.
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC is acting as financial advisor to CStone, and Cooley LLP served as legal advisor. Clifford Chance LLP served as Pfizer’s legal advisor.