UK-based Clinigen Group has agreed to acquire the US rights to Proleukin (aldesleukin, human recombinant interleukin-2) from Novartis in an all-cash deal worth up to $210m.
Proleukin is approved in the US for the treatment of metastatic melanoma and metastatic renal cell carcinoma.
As per the terms, Clinigen will make an initial payment of $120m to Novartis for the rights. It will pay $60m deferred consideration to the Swiss drugmaker over the 12 months after completion of the deal and an additional $30m consideration based on sales milestones of the cancer drug.
In July 2018, Clinigen acquired the ex-US rights of the cancer drug from Novartis for an undisclosed amount. Upon completion of the latest transaction, the company will become the exclusive global owner of the licensed version of the Novartis cancer drug.
The UK pharma company said that Proleukin further diversifies its commercial medicines portfolio, made up of niche hospital-only and critical care products.
Currently, Clinigen is the owner of three product assets within the US in the form of Foscavir, Ethyol and Totect.
According to IQvia (IMS), Proleukin registered revenue of $60m in the year to 30 June 2018.
Proleukin is a synthetic protein, which acts in the body in an identical way as interleukin-2 (IL-2), a human protein which triggers lymphocytes, which in turn, help in fighting against diseases and infections.
Clinigen Group CEO Shaun Chilton said: “As part of Commercial Medicines, Proleukin is an excellent fit within our oncology and infectious disease medicines as well as diversifying our wider portfolio – it will be the largest product in the portfolio in terms of current sales. The product has significant potential for revitalisation, which will provide further breadth and diversity to the portfolio and material increases in revenues.
“For Clinigen as a whole, Proleukin creates an ideal platform to expand our existing footprint in the higher value US market and therefore enables us to exploit other opportunities across the business.”
The closing of the transaction, will be subject to US anti-trust clearance, and is likely to happen in April 2019.