Celsion (NASDAQ: CLSN) is developing a ThermoDox, a treatment for primary liver cancer. The company combines radio-frequency thermal ablation (RFA) with a high dose of the drug doxorubin. ThermoDox targets a specific area and then cover the tumor through the process of heating the accumulated drug.
Phase III results show that ThermoDox with RFA treatment improves the time to progression of HCC liver cancer by at least 33% for patients with large tumors versus RFA alone. In case of approval, ThermoDox may become the primary treatment for the HCC liver cancer and will target $1+ billion market.
On January 25th the CLSN announced a partnership in China with Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. Under the terms of this agreement Celsion will receive from Hisun:
- Non-refundable research and development fee of $5 million to support Celsion’s development of ThermoDox
- Payment of an additional $5 million within sixty days after the signing of the exclusive option agreement if it has not been terminated. The total $10 million Hisun has agreed to pay Celsion under the Development Contract and the exclusive option agreement will be credited towards the $25 million upfront license fee payable by Hisun to Celsion if they enter into the License Agreement.
- Upfront license fee of $25 million, comprised of the aggregate of $10 million paid by Hisun to Celsion under the Development Contract and the exclusive option agreement.
Celsion is also entitled to receive
- milestone payments of up to $30 million with respect to ThermoDox for the treatment of primary liver cancer upon satisfaction of certain regulatory approval milestones and the first commercial sale milestone in the Territory
- milestone payments tied to other potential indications of ThermoDox�, and
- additional sales milestone performance bonus of up to $45 million if Hisun achieves certain annual net sales targets for all the ThermoDox products Hisun is licensed to manufacture and distribute under the License Agreement in the Territory.
In addition, Hisun will pay Celsion escalating double-digit royalties derived primarily from annual net sales of ThermoDox products.