Clinigen pays Novartis $210m for US rights to Proleukin

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Duncan Andison)
(Image: Getty/Duncan Andison)

Related tags Clinigen Novartis Proleukin Us

Clinigen has agreed to acquire the global rights for Proleukin, after Novartis accepted a $210m fee in exchange for the asset.

Formerly, Clinigen expanded its license for Proleukin (aldesleukin), an immunotherapy treatment for metastatic kidney cancer or metastatic melanoma, by acquiring ex-US global rights to the drug, in July 2017​.

Today, it came to a provisional agreement with Novartis to acquire the US rights enabling it to market the product across all regions, pending regulatory approval.

Clinigen will pay an initial $110m (€97m) up-front, with deferred payment of $60m across the 12 months following the completion of the deal and $30m payable based on sales milestones.

A spokesperson for Clinigen told us that the deal had become possible due to an agreement option for Novartis to take back US rights from current distributor, Prometheus, at a specified date.

“Clinigen has had ongoing discussions with Novartis over several years regarding the US rights and the timing is more a result of the availability of the asset than a decision on specific timing by Clinigen,” ​the spokesperson explained.

According to IQVIA, Proleukin secured revenue of $60m in the year to June 30, 2018. Financing the deal has increased  Clinigen’s debt from $300m to $375m. However, the company noted that it had adjusted upwards EBITDA growth to rise by 8% on an organic basis.

In order to market the product, the spokesperson explained that it will work with ICS Group to manage in-market operations before it builds out its commercial platform in the US.

The product will be manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim in Europe.

Clinigen expects that the acquisition will complete in the US, in April 2019.

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