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Announcements & Press Releases, Oncology / Immunology | 21 Dec 2011

AstraZeneca and Chi-Med enter into global collaboration to co-develop and commercialise novel cancer therapy

London: Wednesday, 21 December 2011: AstraZeneca and Hutchison MediPharma Limited (“HMP”), an R&D company majority owned by Chi-Med, today announce that they have entered into a global licensing, co-development, and commercialisation agreement for Volitinib (HMPL-504), a novel targeted therapy and a highly selective inhibitor of the c-Met receptor tyrosine kinase for the treatment of cancer.  Volitinib, which will imminently enter Phase I testing, has been discovered and developed in China by HMP.

Under the terms of the agreement, development costs for Volitinib in China will be shared between HMP and AstraZeneca, with HMP continuing to lead the development in China.  AstraZeneca will lead and pay for the development of Volitinib for the rest of the world.  An initial cash payment of US$20 million is payable by AstraZeneca to HMP upon the signing of the agreement. In addition, HMP will receive up to US$120 million contingent upon the successful achievement of clinical development and first sale milestones.  The agreement also contains possible significant future commercial sale milestones and up to double-digit percentage royalties on net sales.  This collaboration further underscores AstraZeneca’s goal to provide innovative medicines for unmet medical needs for patients in China.

Susan Galbraith, Head of Oncology Innovative Medicines, AstraZeneca said: “Volitinib represents a highly attractive global opportunity for AstraZeneca as we seek to develop and commercialise novel, targeted cancer therapies. This collaboration with HMP represents our commitment to China and brings together two groups with highly complementary capabilities.”

Christian Hogg, Chief Executive Officer of Chi-Med said: “We are very much looking forward to collaborating with AstraZeneca around Volitinib.  Our collaboration will support the development and commercialisation of this novel oncology innovation, discovered in China, to the global market on an accelerated basis, something we could not have done alone.”




Christian Hogg, CEO

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Citigate Dewe Rogerson

Anthony Carlisle

David Dible

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Lazard & Co., Limited

Paul Gismondi

Nick Fowler

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AstraZeneca Media

Esra Erkal-Paler

Katja Toon

Andrea Conners


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Notes to Editors


About HMP

HMP is a novel drug R&D company focusing on discovering, developing and commercialising innovative therapeutics in oncology and autoimmune diseases.  With a team of around 200 scientists and staff, its pipeline is comprised of novel oral compounds for cancer and inflammation in development in North America, Europe, Australia and Greater China.

HMP is majority owned by Chi-Med.  For more information please visit:


About Chi-Med

Chi-Med is the holding company of a healthcare group based primarily in China and was listed on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange in May 2006.  It is focused on researching, developing, manufacturing and selling pharmaceuticals and health oriented consumer products.

Chi-Med is majority owned by Hutchison Whampoa Limited, an international company listed on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited.  For more information please visit:


About the c-Met Signal pathway

The c-Met (also known as HGFR) signalling pathway has specific roles particularly in normal mammalian growth and development, however this pathway has been shown to function abnormally in a range of different cancers.  Volitinib is a potent and highly selective c‑Met inhibitor, which has been demonstrated to inhibit the growth of tumours in a series of pre-clinical disease models, especially for those tumours with aberrant c-Met signalling such as gene amplification or c-Met over-expression.  In addition these biomarkers provide the potential to explore patient selection strategies in later stage clinical trials.


About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines for gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease.  AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.  For more information please visit:


About AstraZeneca in China

AstraZeneca is one the leading biopharmaceutical companies in China providing innovative, high quality medicines for some of the most serious disease areas and therapies, including cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, respiratory, neurological, cancer, inflammation and anesthesia.

AstraZeneca’s turnover in China was over $1 billion in 2010.  The company employs approximately 5,000 staff working in manufacturing, sales and marketing, clinical research and new product development at the company’s headquarters in Shanghai and across sites in mainland China and Hong Kong.

The company’s research and development facilities include the AstraZeneca Innovation Centre China (ICC), which started operations in 2007.  Today, ICC is a full-fledged discovery centre focused on delivering candidate drugs and ultimately Proof of Concepts (POCs) and medicines, with a focus on diseases that are more prevalent in Asian patients.  In January 2011, the company also opened a global Clinical Operational Hub in Shanghai – one of five such hubs globally.