UK-based EUSA Pharma has agreed to acquire the global rights of Sylvant (siltuximab), a rare blood disorder drug, from Janssen Sciences Ireland UC for $115m.
Janssen Sciences Ireland is a subsidiary of Janssen R&D Ireland.
Sylvant has approvals for the treatment of idiopathic multicentric Castleman’s disease (iMCD) in more than 40 countries such as the US, the European Union member states, South Korea and Canada.
iMCD is an inflammatory lymphoproliferative disorder that causes the abnormal overgrowth of immune cells and shares several symptomatic and histological features with lymphoma, according to the American Cancer Society.
Sylvant is a monoclonal antibody that inhibits the action of interleukin-6 (IL-6), a multifunctional cytokine detected at elevated levels in patients with iMCD. The IL-6 antagonist biologic therapy is indicated to be administered as an intravenous (IV) infusion once every three weeks.
Sylvant is currently the only treatment to be approved for iMCD in the US and Europe. Its approval was driven by the data collected from the MCD2001 study featuring 79 subjects.
More than one-third of patients in the Sylvant group had a durable tumor and symptomatic response to treatment plus best supportive care (BSC). This was in comparison to 0% of the patients who received placebo plus BSC.
EUSA Pharma CEO Lee Morley said: “The acquisition of Sylvant represents a significant opportunity for EUSA Pharma. As the only approved treatment for this orphan condition, Sylvant highlights the importance of ongoing research and development in areas where there are few patients yet high unmet medical needs.”
Morley added that Sylvant is an ideal fit with the company’s ambitious plans to launch innovative biopharmaceutical treatments to cater to the oncology and rare disease community across the world.
Earlier this month, EUSA Pharma made a deal to sell its critical care business to SERB Pharmaceuticals for an undisclosed price. EUSA Pharma said that the sale is to transform itself into a biopharma company focused purely on oncology and rare disease.