*.- Pharma Mar Starts Talks on U.S. Development Deal for Cancer Drug .
*.- Partnership said potentially valued in hundreds of millions .
*.- Pharma Mar looking to replicate accord with Chugai in Japan .
Pharma Mar SA, a Spanish drugmaker that develops cancer medicines from sea creatures, is working on a partnership for an experimental treatment for tumors in the U.S.
The company has started negotiations in the U.S. and is speaking to financial advisers about its options, a spokesman said on Wednesday.
An agreement for the experimental drug, known as PM1183, could fetch several hundred million dollars for Pharma Mar in an upfront payment and royalties tied to performance goals, people familiar with the discussions said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. The deal under consideration would be to jointly develop, distribute and ultimately sell the drug, they said.
Pharma Mar reached a similar accord for the drug with Japan’s Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. last year. Under that agreement, Pharma Mar will receive an initial payment of 30 million euros and double-digit royalties. It could also get more than 100 million euros from Chugai if certain goals on clinical development and sales are met.
The drug’s next step is a move into the U.S. with a partner to create a network to market PM1183, Luis Mora, managing director of Pharma Mar’s oncology department, said in an interview last month. A presence there will also increase the firm’s visibility and make it easier to carry out an initial public offering on the Nasdaq in the future, he said.
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