Ipsen finalized Monday the acquisition of Onivyde, flagship product of the US biotech Merrimack Pharmaceuticals already indicated in metastatic pancreatic cancer, for which the French pharmaceutical group could pay up to a billion dollars in total.
The financial terms of this transaction, which was announced in early January, include an initial Ipsen payment of 575 million dollars to Merrimack.
To this amount could be added later up to 450 million additional dollars, "subject to the approval of potential new indications of Onivyde in the United States," recalls Ipsen in a statement.
Ipsen has obtained the exclusive marketing rights for current and future Onivyde indications in the United States, as well as the current licensing agreements with Shire for sales outside the United States, and with PharmaEngine in Taiwan.
About 338.000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year in the world, including about 50.000 in the United States. More than half of these cases are diagnosed at a metastatic stage (advanced).
This is the 3e cause of cancer-related mortality in the United States, compared with breast cancer, according to Ipsen.
In January, Ipsen's chief executive, David Meek, had forecast a sales peak of Onivyde in the United States above $ 300 million for the only current indication for metastatic pancreatic cancer.
Ipsen will continue the clinical development of Onivyde in other indications: first-line pancreatic cancer, lung cancer and breast cancer.
This treatment complements Ipsen's well-stocked portfolio in oncology, where the group is already present in the treatment of neuroendocrine tumors, prostate cancer, kidney cancer and bladder cancer.