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Cytokinetics R&D pact cut by Pharma Company Astellas

Japanese pharma Astellas, two years after a partnered med between the two failed in a midstage examination, it has cancelled a muscle disease study deal with Cytokinetics. The company has agreed to walk away from an agreement for skeletal sarcomere activators that was extended last year into this year, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing by Californian biotech Cytokinetics. The deal was for skeletal sarcomere activators to help in conditions that stop normal muscle contraction.

Regardless of the extension, Astellas wants out, and it’s carrying with it the pledge of hundreds of millions of biobucks. Initially, the pharmaceutical company agreed to acquire exclusive rights to co-develop and distribute skeletal sarcomere activators in all indications.

In exchange, Cytokinetics was given the right to co-promote and do some sales in the United States, Canada, and/or Europe “under negotiated scenarios.” Cytokinetics could have received $25 million to $35 million per medication, up to $250 million for all products, sales milestones of up to $200 million, and revenues ranging from the mid-single digits to the low-double digits if these drugs had been carried forward exclusively by the Pharma.

Astellas extended the contract a year ago, extending it until March 31 of this year; however, the contract will be terminated in November. There was no explanation provided, nor were there any updates on the programmes. The financials for Cytokinetics will be released later this week. The biotech said in a statement, “Upon effective date of the termination, all licenses and other rights granted to Astellas under the Agreement will terminate.”

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