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February 13, 2019updated 22 Nov 2021 7:13am

Novartis to divest Proleukin’s US rights to Clinigen for $210m

Novartis has signed an agreement to divest the US rights to its Proleukin (aldesleukin) medicine to UK-based Clinigen Group for a total cash consideration of up to $210m.

Novartis has signed an agreement to divest the US rights to its Proleukin (aldesleukin) medicine to UK-based Clinigen Group for a total cash consideration of up to $210m.

The transaction involves an upfront and deferred payments, as well as future sales related milestones.

Proleukin is a synthetic human recombinant interleukin-2 (IL-2) protein. Part of the immune system, IL-2 triggers lymphocytes to fight against diseases and infections.

The drug is indicated for the treatment of metastatic melanoma and metastatic renal cell carcinoma.

Clinigen acquired the ex-US rights to Proleukin in July last year. As part of the latest agreement, the company will gain exclusive licence to the drug in the US.

Under the terms of the agreement, Novartis will receive $120m in upfront payment, followed by $60m deferred consideration over the 12 months after closing of the deal, which is subject to US anti-trust clearance.

In addition, the pharmaceutical giant is also eligible for $30m payment depending on certain sales milestones.

The drug is currently being used in approximately 80 studies in the US. Clinigen believes that the therapeutic possesses the potential to be used as a combination treatment for cancer.

Clinigen expects the drug to complement the oncology and infectious disease medicines portfolio under its Commercial Medicines division.

“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.”

The company further anticipates this deal structure, along with its cash generative nature, to reduce its debt profile over the next year.

Clinigen Group CEO Shaun Chilton said: “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.”

According to IQvia, Proleukin generated $60m in revenue in the US in the year to 30 June 2018.

Clinigen currently offers Foscavir, Ethyol and Totectin the US. The company licensed commercial rights for Foscavirto Pfizer, and those for Ethyol and Totect to Cumberland Pharmaceuticals.

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