Dublin-Ireland based biopharma Horizon Pharma has bagged rights to Boehringer Ingelheim's interferon gamma-1b in an around 30 countries primarily in Europe and the Middle East for 25 million euros.
The move will leave the firm with global rights to the drug - a biologically manufactured protein similar to one the body makes naturally to help prevent infection - as it already owns those for the rest of the world.
In the US the drug is marketed under the trade name Actimmune, and is approved for reducing the frequency and severity of serious infections linked to chronic granulomatous disease and for extending progression free survival in patients with severe, malignant osteopetrosis.
Under the terms of the deal, Horizon has paid Boehringer 5 million euros upon signing and will pay 20 million euros upon closing for the rights for interferon gamma-1b in all territories outside of the US, Canada and Japan. The transaction is expected to close by year-end 2016, subject to the satisfaction of closing conditions.
In a separate agreement, Horizon has also snapped up US, European and Canadian intellectual property rights for interferon gamma-1b for the treatment of Friedreich's ataxia from an undisclosed their party. The therapy is currently not approved for this indication; top line results from a Phase III trials assessing its safety and efficacy in this patient population are expected by the end of the year.
"Obtaining worldwide rights for interferon gamma-1b solidifies our continued investment in the medicine, and pending the outcome of clinical studies investigating it in Friedreich's ataxia and advanced solid tumors, such as kidney and bladder cancer, strengthens our ability to expand its potential global use," noted Timothy Walbert, chairman, president and chief executive of Horizon.