Onyx Breaks into Haematological Market with Proteolix Acquisition

12 October 2009 (Last Updated October 12th, 2009 18:30)

Onyx Pharmaceuticals has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Proteolix, a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing novel therapies for haematological malignancies and solid tumours. The move will provide Onyx with access to Proteolix's lead compound, carfil

Onyx Pharmaceuticals has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Proteolix, a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing novel therapies for haematological malignancies and solid tumours.

The move will provide Onyx with access to Proteolix's lead compound, carfilzomib, a proteasome inhibitor in multiple clinical trials, for patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma.

Onyx will make a $276m cash payment on closing of the transaction. Additional payments include $40m payable in 2010 based on development milestones and up to $535m depending on whether carfilzomib is approved in the US and Europe.

Onyx president and chief executive officer N Anthony Coles said that this acquisition provides strategic expansion into the $16bn haematological malignancies market.

"The transaction structure reflects our approach to growing our business in a disciplined fashion, including earnout payments contingent on specific approval-based events," Coles said.

Proteolix is developing several therapeutics that inhibit the cellular proteasome, a validated and well-characterised approach to treating certain haematological malignancies.

Of these treatments carfilzomib, a next-generation proteasome inhibitor, has already demonstrated strong response rates in multiple studies with an encouraging safety profile.