Calithera Biosciences Inc. announced an agreement with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited to acquire two clinical-stage compounds, both of which have demonstrated single-agent clinical activity with the greatest potential in biomarker-defined cancer-patient populations. The compounds, sapanisertib (CB-228, formerly TAK-228) and mivavotinib (CB-659, formerly TAK-659), further strengthen Calitheras pipeline of clinical-stage targeted therapies. The terms of the transaction include a total upfront cash payment to Takeda of $10 million and $35 million issued to Takeda in Calithera Series A preferred stock. Additionally, Takeda will be eligible to receive from Calithera clinical development, regulatory and sales milestone payments across both programs. Calithera will pay tiered royalties of high single-digits to low teens on future net sales should these candidates achieve regulatory approvals and subsequent commercial availability. Sapanisertib is a dual TORC 1/2 inhibitor that targets a key survival mechanism in KEAP1/NRF2-mutated tumor cells. These mutations are found in a considerable sub-population of patients across multiple solid tumor types. Sapanisertib has demonstrated promising single-agent activity in patients with relapsed/refractory NRF2-mutated squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and exhibits differential anti-tumor activity compared to rapalog inhibitors of TORC1 in NRF2-mutant squamous NSCLC in vivo models. A Phase 2 study planned to begin in the first quarter of 2022 will further evaluate sapanisertib as a monotherapy in patients with squamous NSCLC harboring a NRF2 mutation. Mivavotinib is a SYK inhibitor that targets the constitutively active BCR pathway in many non-Hodgkins lymphoma (NHL) cases as well as the constitutively active inflammatory signaling pathway in MyD88-mutated NHL. In early phase studies, mivavotinib showed promising single-agent responses in relapsed/refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). In addition, recent preclinical studies have shown enhanced SYK activity and sensitivity to SYK inhibition in DLBCL and other NHLs harboring mutations in MyD88 and/or CD79, which comprise a distinct genetic subset of DLBCL known to have poor outcomes with standard-of-care therapy. Accordingly, Calithera plans to initiate a Phase 2 study of mivavotinib in 2022 for the treatment of patients with DLBCL with and without mutations in MyD88 and CD79. Beyond DLBCL, both preclinical and clinical data support expansion across additional NHL subtypes and other hematologic malignancies as part of long-term plans.