Sareum will collect $1.9m (£1.45m) as an up-front payment and is in line for up to $88.4m over the next eight to 10 years provided the drug hits expected milestones.
Trials begun in June will be continued in the US and further trials are also reportedly under way.
“There is a chance it may fall over but these drugs tend to do better than others,” said chief executive Tim Mitchell.
“ProNAi is in a strong position to further the development of [the drug] and plans to expand its development into the US and with broader clinical studies. We look forward to reporting on their progress,” he added.
In August global pharma firm AstraZeneca suffered a set back after a new cancer drug failed at the trial stage.
Experimental drug selumetinib failed to meet its goals – helping patients live longer or prevent the disease from worsening when combined with chemotherapy – in a late-stage trial for lung cancer.