Nexvet Signs Licensing Deal With Meiji Seika Pharma for Dog Inflammation Treatment
8/9/2012 11:00:47 AM
(09 August, 2012) Melbourne, Australia. Australian veterinary biologic drug developer Nexvet Biopharma (Nexvet) announced today the signing of its first commercial licensing deal. The license grants major Japanese pharmaceutical and animal health company Meiji Seika Pharma Co. Ltd. (Meiji Seika Pharma) regional development and distribution rights to an asset in Nexvet’s developmental portfolio relating to the treatment of canine inflammatory disorders, such as arthritis and various common skin diseases.
Meiji Seika Pharma is a company focusing on pharmaceuticals, agricultural and veterinary drugs. Its parent company Meiji Holdings is a high-profile diversified group with over 15,000 employees and 1,109 billion yen in sales in FY2011. Meiji Seika Pharma employs over 4,000 employees and has annual sales of 125 billion yen.
The details of the arrangement are confidential, but include the payment of an upfront fee as well as royalties on sales and milestone payments as developmental activity is delivered. Meiji Seika Pharma’s exclusive rights extend across a number of Asian territories including Japan where the companion animal market is expected to grow rapidly.
Nexvet is a private Australian company that has developed a revolutionary technology called PETization™ which allows the conversion of human antibody drugs to animal-specific versions, leading to new veterinary medicines. The process is rapid, occurring in a single step, and has a very high success rate. The strategic advantage behind PETization™ is its utilization of a ready supply of target drugs with proven effectiveness in humans, to rapidly provide a portfolio of veterinary drugs for clinical trials.
The global animal health market is estimated to be worth approximately $20 billion, with a five percent compound annual growth rate. The companion animal segment has experienced significant growth as both pet owner populations and average spend on their animals increases year-on-year. Large animal health companies lack much of the innovative capacity of the human healthcare sector and a company like Nexvet with a platform technology in a key growth area represents a very attractive partner.
Since its inception in 2010, Nexvet has rapidly secured a strong intellectual property base, research partners, strategic investors to fund preclinical and clinical work, and has now delivered its first commercial partnership.
“We’re at a very exciting stage of development at Nexvet. Our technology and portfolio are attracting increasing attention from investors and potential partners, and this deal with Meiji Seika Pharma is a welcome part of our rapid progression, as well as a strong validation of our offering in the area of veterinary medicine. Meiji Seika Pharma’s strong background in animal health research and large distribution channels make them an excellent partner in Asia, and we look forward to a long and successful collaboration,” said Nexvet CEO Mark Heffernan.
Meiji Seika Pharma has moved to secure access to Nexvet’s portfolio as part of its declared strategy to increase its presence in animal biologics.
“The huge growth in human biologics medicine foreshadows a similar expansion in animal health, and Nexvet’s technology is producing striking results in this field. We believe this deal will supplement our offering in biologics in the key area of companion animal health” said Meiji Seika Pharma Executive Officer, Agricultural & Veterinary Division, Satoru Kurokawa.
Biologics are a class of medicines experiencing rapid growth in human healthcare due to their high specificity and efficacy. High profile “blockbuster” examples include Roche’s Herceptin® and Avastin® for treating various cancers, and Abbott’s Humira® for treating inflammatory disorders. These three drugs alone generate more than US$15 billion in annual sales.
“Nexvet intends to develop a new generation of safe and effective veterinary biologics based on the human equivalents, which are sorely needed as veterinary medicine currently has poor diversity in several treatment areas as well as significant safety concerns with existing drugs,” concluded Mr Heffernan.
Nexvet is currently preparing for a new round of clinical studies as it engages in discussions with other potential licensing partners for various products in its portfolio.
Nexvet Biopharma is developing safe, more effective and specific medicines for companion animals, (cats, dogs and horses). The Nexvet portfolio focuses on inflammatory disease, pain and cancer. The portfolio is composed of drugs based on successful human biologics drugs in these indications, converted to species-specific versions by Nexvet’s proprietary PETization™ technology.
PETization™ converts biologics to species-specific analogues through a simple, rapid one-step process with a high success rate. For decades animal health companies have used drugs based on human health products with typically little optimization for the animal targets. Nexvet will address this shortcoming by introducing new highly optimized products in areas of greatest market need.
The area of biologics has become a massive growth area in human medicine, responsible for many of the most effective drugs on the market. Biologics are drugs based on natural proteins with typically good efficacy, high specificity and an excellent side-effect profile. To date, innovation and competition in biologics in the $20 billion global veterinary pharmaceuticals market has been limited. Nexvet’s team have international track records in developing human biologics combined with Veterinary expertise. Nexvet’s expertise in biologics R&D confers a strong competitive advantage and has generated an extensive intellectual property position, making Nexvet an attractive licensing partner and/or acquisition target.
Nexvet is based in Melbourne, Australia, with partners and investors located around the world. If you would like to know more about Nexvet, please visit the website at www.nexvet.com and via the contacts below.
About Meiji Seika Pharma
Meiji Seika Pharma Co., Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, handles businesses in specialty and generic pharmaceuticals, agricultural chemicals and veterinary drugs. Meiji Seika Pharma succeeded the pharmaceutical businesses of Meiji Seika Kaisha Ltd., on 1 April, 2011 through business restructuring. For details on Meiji Seika Pharma, see http://www.meiji-seika-pharma.co.jp/english/index.html.
Chief Executive Officer, Nexvet
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