Sun Pharma to Acquire Cancer Product from Novartis AG for $175 Million

Sun Pharma to Acquire Cancer Product from Novartis for $175 Million December 22, 2016
By Mark Terry, Breaking News Staff

India’s largest drugmaker, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries , is buying skin cancer drug Odomzo from Switzerland-based Novartis AG (NVS) for $175 million upfront. There will also be additional milestone payments.

Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July 2015, Odomzo (sonidegib) is a hedgehog pathway inhibitor used to treat adults with locally advanced basal cell carcinoma (laBCC) that has recurred after surgery or radiation treatment. It is also indicated for patients who are not candidates for surgery or radiation.

“Odomzo gives us an opportunity to meaningfully expand our already established branded dermatology business and support our expansion into Branded Oncology with a launched brand,” said Kirti Ganorkar, Sun Pharma’s global head of Business Development, in a statement. “We see meaningful global potential for Odomzo by leveraging Sun Pharma’s existing dermatology and oncology infrastructure to provide an innovative product to BCC patients worldwide.”

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries has made several acquisitions recently. In October, it acquired Switzerland-based Ocular Technologies from Auven Therapeutics, a private equity firm. Sun paid $40 million upfront with contingent development and sales milestones, as well as tiered royalties on sales of Ocular’s ophthalmic drug Seciera.

In March, Sun bought 14 prescription brands from Novartis in Japan for $293 million. And in June, Sun entered the dermatology market with the launch of its sunscreen product, Suncros.

On December 12, Sun and Israel-based Moebius Medical inked a licensing deal to develop MM-II, a novel candidate for the treatment of osteoarthritis pain. MM-II is a non-opioid product that works with the physical properties of proprietary liposomes to lubricate arthritic knee joints.

On November 28, the company launched BromSite (bromfenax ophthalmic solution) in the U.S. It is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug for postoperative inflammation and prevention of ocular pain in patients having cataract surgery.

And on November 23, Sun acquired 85.1 percent of JSC Biosintez, a Russian drug company. The 85.1 percent stakes was for $24 million (US), and the assumption of $36 million (US) of debt. Biosintez has a manufacturing plant in the Penza region that can create dosage forms including drugs for injections, blood substitutes, blood preservatives, ampoules, tablets, ointment, creams, gels, suppositories, APIs and others.

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is responsible for about 80 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers, or over 2 million cases in the U.S. alone. Advanced BCC is believed to account for one to 10 percent of all cases of BCC. Worldwide, the incidence of BCC has risen by about 10 percent annually related to an aging population and increased exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

“We look forward to collaborating with the medical community to bring this novel therapy to the market to patients suffering from locally advanced basal cell carcinoma,” said Jesper Jensen, head of Sun Pharma’s Biologics and Dermatology, in a statement. “Odomzo complements and enhances our existing Dermatology franchise. This acquisition has the potential to leverage and expand the relationships that our Levulan sales team have with the Dermatologists that treat common pre-cancerous skin conditions.”

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