Bellus Health agrees to sell Thallion to US firm Taro Pharmaceuticals


Bellus Health has signed an agreement to sell its wholly owned subsidiary Thallion Pharmaceuticals, including all the rights to the Shigamab drug candidate to US-based Taro Pharmaceuticals.

Taro will acquire all shares of Thallion for C$2.7m ($2.02m) and Bellus will receive a portion of certain post-approval revenues related to the Shigamab programme.

Bellus Health president and CEO Roberto Bellini said: "This transaction supports the further development of Shigamab and allows us to focus our efforts on the rest of our pipeline, including the recently in-licensed BLU-5937, a drug candidate for chronic cough.

"The upfront proceeds from this transaction also meaningfully extend our cash runway to the fourth quarter of 2018."

In accordance with the agreements of the Thallion acquisition made in 2013, 5% of the proceeds received by Bellus from its sale, including the Shigamab technology, is payable to contingent value rights (CVR) holders.

"The upfront proceeds from this transaction also meaningfully extend our cash runway to the fourth quarter of 2018."

The monoclonal antibody therapy Shigamab is being developed to treat Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome caused by Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) (sHUS).

sHUS, which principally affects the kidneys and often leads to patients requiring acute dialysis, can cause chronic kidney disease and death, primarily in children within certain cases.

Shigamab was acquired by Bellus through the Thallion acquisition.

Prior to the agreement, Bellus proceeded with an internal reorganisation, as part of which BHI Limited Partnership, who conducted the former’s activities, was dissolved and its assets and liabilities were transferred to Bellus.

Before the effective date, Thallion was a wholly owned subsidiary of Bellus that held the rights to Shigamab.