Kite, Fosun Pharma form JV in China for cancer treatment

A company logo is pictured at the headquarters of Shanghai Fosun Pharma Group in Shanghai, China September 13, 2016. REUTERS/Aly Song

(Reuters) - Kite Pharma Inc said on Tuesday it had formed a joint venture with Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co Ltd to develop and commercialize its cancer treatment in China.

Kite Pharma said it would receive an upfront payment of $40 million from the JV, funded by Fosun Pharma as well as regulatory and commercial milestones totaling $35 million.

Kite is also eligible for mid-single digit sales royalties for its lead investigational therapy axicabtagene ciloleucel.

Axicabtagene ciloleucel is part of an experimental class of drugs that are made by genetically altering a patient’s T-cells, a type of white blood cell, in the lab to help the immune system find and kill cancer cells.

Fosun Pharma will provide $20 million in initial funding to support clinical development and manufacturing activities.

Both parties will share profits from the JV with Kite Pharma receiving 40 percent and Fosun Pharma the remaining, the companies said.

Kite Pharma said on Monday it partnered with Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd to develop and commercialize its cancer treatment therapy in Japan, putting the U.S. company in line to receive up to $250 million in payments.

Reporting by Akankshita Mukhopadhyay in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta