New Licensing and Development Agreements
Cytogen (Princeton, NJ; www.cytogen.com) has signed a distribution agreement with Savient Pharmaceuticals (East Brunswick, NJ; www.savient.com). The deal gives Cytogen exclusive US marketing rights to Soltamox (tamoxifen citrate), a hormone therapy for cancer. Soltamox is a liquid product taken orally. That offers a strong potential advantage to the roughly 40 percent of adults who have difficulty swallowing pills. Soltamox is the first liquid oral hormonal anti-cancer drug to be approved in the United States. Under the deal, Savient receives $2 million up front, plus milestone payments of $4 million and royalties.
Mission Pharmacal (San Antonio, TX; www.missionpharmacal.com) has acquired the US rights to manufacture and commercialize Tindamax (tinidazole) tablets from Presutti Laboratories (Rolling Meadows, IL; www.presuttilabs.com). The drug is an anti-protozoal, primarily used to treat trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted parasitic disease that affects 7.4 million people a year. It is also indicated for giardiasis, intestinal amebiasis, and amebic liver abscess. Japan Tobacco (Tokoyo, Japan; www.jti.co.jp) has announced that it has signed a licensing agreement giving GlaxoSmithKline (Middlesex, UK; www.gsk.com) exclusive rights to manufacture, develop, and commercialize one of its drug candidates. The product, currently in preclinical studies, inhibits the action of the enzyme MAPK/ ERK kinase (MEK), which plays a role in cell proliferation. MEK inhibition may be useful in treating cancer and inflammation. Japan Tobacco retains Japanese co-promotion rights. Japan Tobacco is the world’s third-largest tobacco company, with $39 billion in sales, but also has a pharmaceutical business with sales of about $500 million. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Amgen (Thousand Oaks, CA; www.amgen.com) and Alcon (Hunenberg, Switzerland; www.alcon.com) have signed an agreement to jointly research, develop, and commercialize a broad range of therapies for eye diseases. Under the agreement, Amgen will provide candidate molecules and Alcon will lead clinical development and commercialization. Amgen will license Alcon ophthalmic use of any products developed by the partnership, but will retain rights to other indications. Five Prime Therapeutics (San Francisco; www.fiveprime.com) has made a two-year research and license agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim (Ingelheim, Germany; www.boehringer-ingelheim.com). The multi-product deal, potentially worth more than $75 million, will cover novel therapeutics for rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases. Five Prime will receive an upfront fee, research support, milestone payments, and royalties. Boehringer Ingelheim will have exclusive worldwide development and commercialization rights. Five Prime was founded in 2002 by Lewis T. “Rusty” Williams, former chief scientific officer for Chiron. The company specializes in research into the human “secretome,” the set of proteins from which biotherapeutics are derived.
Elusys (Pine Brook, NJ; www.elusys.com) will collaborate with MedImmune (Gaithersburg, MD; www.medimmune.com) to develop treatments for infectious diseases. Elusys is a privately company that develops anti-infectives based on its heteropolymer antibody technology. According to the company, the technology uses a monoclonal antibody specific to a red blood cell receptor. This receptor is chemically linked to a second antibody that binds a particular pathogen. The deal includes an undisclosed upfront payment to Elusys, milestones, and royalties. In addition, MedImmune’s venture capital unit will make an investment in Elusys.
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