Naoki Okamura, Astellas president and CEO

Astel­las bags prostate can­cer drug in $175M buy­out as Xtan­di ap­proach­es patent cliff

Astel­las is shelling out $175 mil­lion in cash to buy Pro­pel­la Ther­a­peu­tics and its Phase I prostate can­cer ther­a­py that puts a twist on a long­stand­ing treat­ment for the dis­ease.

Pro­pel­la’s lead pro­gram, PRL-02, is a long-act­ing pro­drug of abi­raterone — an an­dro­gen biosyn­the­sis in­hibitor that’s been mar­ket­ed by J&J’s Janssen as Zyti­ga. What once was a block­buster, Zyti­ga sales have seen a steady de­cline since its patent a few years ago; in the first nine months of 2023, it re­port­ed $686 mil­lion in rev­enue com­pared to $1.5 bil­lion dur­ing the same pe­ri­od in 2022.

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