(This story corrects to remove reference to Lilly in paragraph 4.)
LONDON (Reuters) - Hutchison China MediTech, the Shanghai-based drugmaker listed in London, is a step closer to winning approval for a modern drug developed in a Chinese lab with the submission of its cancer medicine fruquintinib to China’s drug watchdog.
The company, controlled by Li Ka-shing’s CK Hutchison group, said on Monday the China Food and Drug Administration would now review the drug as a treatment for advanced colorectal cancer.
The move triggers a milestone payment of $4.5 million from U.S. partner Eli Lilly to the Chinese firm, which is commonly known as Chi-Med.
Chi-Med is also testing fruquintinib in the United States as it aims to become the first China-based company to bring modern drugs to the international market.
Hopes for the drug, which starves tumors of blood supply, received a major boost in March when a late-stage clinical trial produced strongly positive results in colon cancer, lifting Chi-Med shares.
The drug is also being developed for non-small cell lung cancer and another study in gastric cancer is due to start soon.
Chi-Med shares were up 1.1 percent in early London trading on Monday.
Reporting by Ben Hirschler; editing by Jason Neely