US-based Rigel Pharmaceuticals has agreed to acquire the US rights to the lung cancer drug Gavreto (pralsetinib) from Blueprint Medicines for an initial purchase price of $15m.

Gavreto is an oral, once-a-day, small-molecule, kinase inhibitor of wild-type RET (rearranged during transfection) and oncogenic RET fusions.

The drug is authorised by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat adult patients with metastatic RET fusion-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) as detected by an FDA-approved test.

The agreement states that Blueprint Medicines will be paid a purchase price of $15m, of which $10m is due upon Rigel’s first commercial sale.

The remaining $5m is due, subject to certain conditions, on the first anniversary of the closing date.

In addition to tiered royalties ranging from 10% to 30%, Blueprint Medicines is also eligible to collect up to $97.5m in future commercial milestone payments and up to $5m in future regulatory milestone payments.

Statutory expiration dates for patents covering Gavreto that have already been issued or are anticipated to be issued fall between 2036 and 2041.

In the third quarter of 2024, Rigel plans to finish the asset’s transition and begin recording product revenues.

Rigel president and CEO Raul Rodriguez said: “NSCLC is the most common type of lung cancer in the US with RET fusions representing 1-2% of the patient population.

“Gavreto is a targeted treatment option with an established safety profile that has shown durable responses in RET fusion-positive NSCLC patients and represents a compelling addition to our commercial portfolio.

“We are excited about this transaction, as we continue to realise our corporate strategy to grow our haematology and oncology business while leveraging our existing commercial and medical affairs infrastructure and expertise.

“Gavreto is the third commercial product in our portfolio, supporting top-line growth and our commitment to providing differentiated therapies to patients in need.”

The latest deal is concurrent with Roche’s previously stated decision to end their Gavreto collaboration agreement with Blueprint Medicines, which will take effect on 22 February 2024.

The drug is also approved to treat adult and paediatric patients 12 years of age and older with advanced or metastatic RET fusion-positive thyroid cancer who require systemic therapy and who are radioactive iodine-refractory.