Oncimmune Holdings plc (AIM: ONC.L), a leading global immunodiagnostics group, today announces it has signed an exclusive commercial partnership with R-Pharm JSC (“R-Pharm”) to use EarlyCDT Lung for the early detection of lung cancer in Russia and the member states of the Eurasian Customs Union (Republic of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan) (the “Territory”). Within the terms of the agreement, Oncimmune has granted an option to R-Pharm to extend the use of EarlyCDT Lung into the Commonwealth of Independent States countries of Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Georgia.
This commercial partnership with R-Pharm is for an initial term of five years and will generate revenues of at least £5 million, including milestone payments of £2.75 million during this period. R-Pharm will commercialize EarlyCDT Lung in both lung cancer screening and nodule risk assessment in the region.
Russia has 38 million smokers, the highest number in Europe. There were more than 60,000 lung cancer diagnoses in 2018, with approximately 55,000 deaths. The strategic intent for R-Pharm is to maximize the value of EarlyCDT Lung within a new screening program in Moscow and, eventually, across Russia.
R-Pharm will drive local product registration of EarlyCDT Lung in Russia, which has already begun. R-Pharm will also bear all sales and marketing costs associated with commercialization, expected from H2 2019. The partnership also anticipates that some manufacturing for the local market will be transferred to R-Pharm in the medium term.
Dr. Adam M Hill, CEO of Oncimmune commented: “Russia has significant potential as a screening market with a large high-risk population. Following the successful ECLS study, this partnership further highlights the growing international acceptance of EarlyCDT Lung’s utility as a screening device for early-stage lung cancer. I am delighted to have Alexey and his team at R-Pharm join us to unlock the potential of screening in Russia, broadening further the commercial reach of our EarlyCDT product portfolio.”
Alexey Repik, Chairman of R-Pharm, commented: “We are delighted to be forming this strategic partnership with Oncimmune to tackle one of the most important health challenges in Russia. By introducing EarlyCDT Lung, first at the health system level in Moscow before rolling out a national screening program, we aim to save lives and costs for the health system by detecting lung cancer sooner. R-Pharm will be investing up to £3.5 million to build the infrastructure needed to establish the screening program in Moscow and bring EarlyCDT Lung-led screening to Russia.”