Clinigen to buy US rights to Proleukin from Novartis

British pharma company Clinigen has agreed to buy the US rights to Proleukin (aldesleukin, human recombinant interleukin-2) from Swiss pharma company Novartis in an all-cash transaction that could be worth up to $210 million.

Proleukin is an FDA approved drug for metastatic melanoma and metastatic renal cell carcinoma.

Clinigen has agreed to make the payments in three installments – a first initial payment of $120 million followed by a deferred payment of $60 million over the 12 months following the closing of the transaction and an additional $30 million, which will be related to future sales milestones of Proleukin.

The deal gives Clinigen exclusive global rights of Proleukin. As per IQVIA (IMS) data, Proleukin generated revenue of $60 million in the year to 30 June 2018.

Proleukin is a synthetic protein, which mimics the human protein interleukin-2 (IL-2) which activates lymphocytes that aid in countering diseases and infections.

Clinigen said that Proleukin further diversifies its Commercial Medicines portfolio of niche hospital-only and critical care products. Currently, Clinigen has US rights to other assets, including Foscavir, Ethyol, and Totect.

Shaun Chilton – Clinigen Group Chief Executive Officer said: “This highly earnings enhancing acquisition of US rights to Proleukin is significant to the whole Group not just the Commercial Medicines division.

“As part of Commercial Medicines, Proleukin is an excellent fit within our oncology and infectious disease medicines as well as diversifying our wider portfolio – it will be the largest product in the portfolio in terms of current sales. The product has significant potential for revitalisation, which will provide further breadth and diversity to the portfolio and material increases in revenues.

“For Clinigen as a whole, Proleukin creates an ideal platform to expand our existing footprint in the higher value US market and therefore enables us to exploit other opportunities across the business. This follows our acquisition last year of CSM and iQone which strengthened our Continental European footprint.

“At the financial level, the combination of this deal structure and the Group’s cash generative nature will ensure our debt profile reduces quickly over the next year.”

The deal is expected to close in April 2019 once it gets US anti-trust clearance.

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