Biogen acquires rights for potential Actemra biosimilar; Royalty Pharma buys lumasiran royalty stream for up to $240M
Biogen has a new partner to help develop an experimental IL-6 biosimilar.
The Cambridge, MA-based company announced Thursday it has teamed up with Chinese firm Bio-Thera Solutions to develop, manufacture and commercialize BAT1806. Currently undergoing Phase III studies, the drug is an IL-6 receptor monoclonal antibody that could prove to be a biosimilar for Roche’s Actemra.
Biogen is on the hook for $30 million upfront, while milestone and royalty terms of the deal were not disclosed. The agreement provides licensing rights for Biogen to market the program in all countries outside China.
It’s not yet clear in which indications Biogen will seek approval first, but the company noted that Actemra’s primary indication is for moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in adults. The drug has also been OK’ed in juvenile idiopathic polyarthritis, systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, giant cell arteritis and cytokine release syndrome.
The transaction is expected to close before the end of the second quarter.
Royalty Pharma buys lumasiran royalty stream for up to $240M
Royalty Pharma did what it does best once again, acquiring another royalty stream Thursday.
Its newest acquisition comes from Dicerna, who sold off lumasiran royalties for an upfront cash payment of $180 million and up to $60 million in contingent sales-based milestone payments, the biotech announced. Also known as Oxlumo, lumasiran has been approved in both the US and Europe to treat primary hyperoxaluria type 1 and is marketed by Alnylam.
Dicerna first obtained royalties on worldwide net product sales of Oxlumo as part of a non-exclusive licensing agreement with Alnylam last year, related to the companies’ PH programs. Dicerna is entitled to royalties in the mid-to-high single digits based on the drug’s global net sales.
The cash infusion will help fund Dicerna through 2024, it added.