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Royalty Pharma acquires rights to UCLA’s Xtandi cancer drug for $1.14bn

Royalty Pharma has acquired University of California, Los Angeles' (UCLA) royalty interest in the prostate cancer drug Xtandi (enzalutamide) for $1.14bn.


The rights were jointly owned by the university, researchers working at UCLA at the time of the discoveries and a research organization.

The deal includes potential additional payments depending on future Xtandi sales.

UCLA will use its share of the proceeds, about $520m, to support research programs, undergraduate scholarships and graduate student fellowships.

Through the divestment of the royalty interest and prudently investing proceeds, the university intends to offer stability and minimize risk related with the volatility of the pharmaceutical industry marketplace.

Xtandi is based on a chemical compound that was developed at UCLA. It is a prescription medicine used to treat men with prostate cancer that no longer responds to a medical or surgical treatment which reduces testosterone and spread to other parts of the body.

It inhibits the androgen receptor, which drives prostate cancer progression. In one phase 3 clinical trial of patients earlier treated with chemotherapy, Xtandi reduced the risk of death by 37% and increased median survival by 4.8 months, compared to a placebo.

In an other phase 3 study of patients not previously treated with chemotherapy, Xtandi reduced the risk of death by 23% and grew median survival by four months.

In 2005, UCLA licensed the chemical compound’s patent to Medivation. The company secured approval from the US Food and Drug Administration in 2012 to market Xtandi as a prostate cancer medication.

Medivation and its sub-licensee Astellas Pharma are currently selling Xtandi globally. UCLA has no role in the marketing or sale of Xtandi.

Image: Xtandi packaging (capsules shown not actual size). Photo: courtesy of PR Newswire.