Eisai, SFJ Pharma partner on Phase III studies
TOKYO—Eisai Co. recently announced the establishment of a partnership with Pleasanton, Calif.-based SFJ Pharmaceuticals, a private biotechnology firm that focuses on unique development business models for pursuing regulatory approval for drugs in the Japanese market. Under the agreement, the two companies will conduct Phase III studies of Eisai's thyroid cancer drug E7080, lenvatinib. The compound is a multi-kinase inhibitor that is under development as a molecular-targeted agent for several types of cancer, including thyroid, melanoma, glioma and endometrial cancer. The agreement is intended to accelerate late-stage development of Eisai's pipeline and take advantage of external resources. SFJ will fund the study and will receive milestone payments from Eisai if E7080 gains regulatory approval, while Eisai will retain commercial rights to the drug. Specific financial details for the agreement were not disclosed.