Valeant partners with AstraZeneca for psoriasis drug

By MoneyTimes

Sep 02, 2015 09:45 AM EDT

Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Inc. of Canada has partnered with AstraZeneca for the selling rights of psoriasis drug brodalumab. Amgen Inc. ended its partnership with AstraZeneca due to its worries over the drug's side effects.

AstraZeneca will receive $100 million upfront payment plus $170 million for milestones achieved before the launch of the drug and a maximum of $175 million after the launch. In the deal, the two companies will share profits on drug sales.

Valeant will take the responsibility of covering development costs that are related to the drug's regulatory approval since the company comes with a huge portfolio of dermatological drugs. Valeant is said to send the drug for regulatory approval in Europe and in the United States in the last quarter of 2015.

Valeant will also have the exclusive rights for commercializing and developing brodalumab worldwide except for some countries including Japan and particular countries where Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co. holds the rights to the drug. Kyowa Hakko and Amgen, the company that first developed the drug, already had a deal regarding property rights on certain countries.

Amgen mentioned that the drug had adverse effects such as suicidal thoughts and behavior in its clinical trials. Amgen further said that the drug should be under restrictive labeling.

According to Valeant CEO and Chairman J. Michael Pearson, the drug brodalumab is possibly the most effective therapy so far for moderate to acute plaque psoriasis. But analysts have warned that the drug may face challenges in getting market share after approval because of its adverse effects.

If approved, the drug will compete with Cosentryx by Novartis that was introduced early this year. The dermatological drugs come with antibodies that affect a protein called IL-17 but use varying mechanisms.

Ixekizumab, another psoriasis drug, was developed by Lilly and was submitted for regulatory approval early this year. Ixekizumab and cosentryx were not linked to suicidal thoughts.

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