Alliance could see Loxo net up to $1.55bn in upfront and milestone payments

Tiny US biopharmaceutical firm Loxo Oncology will team up with German chemical giant Bayer to commercialise two therapies for patients with genetically defined cancers.

Loxo’s larotrectinib (LOXO-101) and LOXO-195 both inhibit tropomyosin receptor kinase (TRK) fusion proteins. TRK fusions are mutations that occur when genes for TRK proteins blend with another, unrelated gene. This abnormality can result in uncontrolled TRK signalling that can trigger cancers in a variety of locations. ‘These agents have the potential to fulfill the promise of precision medicine, where tumor genetics rather than tumor site of origin define the treatment approach for patients,’ said head of Bayer’s oncology strategic business unit, Robert LaCaze, in a statement.

The agreement will see Bayer pay Loxo $400 million (£303 million) upfront. Loxo also stands to receive $1.15 million dependent on the progress and eventual commercialisation of the products.