EUSA Pharma Out-Licenses Preclinical-Stage Human Antibody to GlaxoSmithKline for up to $44 Million Plus Royalties



    Out-Licensing Enhances EUSA's Strategic Focus on Late-Stage and Marketed
    Products

    DOYLESTOWN, PA, and OXFORD, England, Feb. 18 /CNW/ - EUSA Pharma Inc
('EUSA'), a transatlantic specialty pharmaceutical company focused on
oncology, pain control and critical care, today announced that it has
out-licensed the exclusive world-wide rights to its preclinical-stage human
anti-interleukin-6 antibody to GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for a consideration of up
to $44 million, comprising an upfront fee and development milestones, plus
royalties on future sales. As part of the agreement EUSA will pay
approximately 50% of the overall consideration to its development partner for
the antibody, Vaccinex Inc. GSK will fund and conduct all future development,
production and commercialization of the product.
    Interleukin-6 is a pro-inflammatory cytokine and B-cell growth factor and
acts as a resistance factor to standard chemotherapy. EUSA's product, OP-R003,
is the first fully human anti-interleukin-6 antibody, with target indications
in oncology and inflammatory diseases. OP-R003 is derived from a first
generation murine antibody, elsilimomab, which has achieved promising clinical
results as a lymphoma therapy. As a fully human antibody, OP-R003 has the
potential to offer improved tolerability and a superior safety profile.
    EUSA acquired OP-R003 as part of the company's 2007 acquisition of
OPi SA. OPi had previously entered a collaboration with Vaccinex, a specialist
antibody discovery and development company, to optimize and develop OP-R003 as
a therapy for rheumatoid arthritis and lymphoma.
    "The out-licensing of this early-stage antibody is another strategic
milestone for EUSA, as we continue to focus our business on marketed and
late-stage products in the oncology, pain control and critical care areas,"
said Bryan Morton, Chief Executive of EUSA Pharma.
    Commenting on the acquisition, Brian McVeigh, GSK's Worldwide Business
Development Director of M&A Strategy and Transactions, said, "Interleukin-6 is
increasingly recognized as an important biological target in a range of
diseases, and consequently OP-R003 has great potential to meet a number of
unmet medical needs."

    About EUSA Pharma Inc

    EUSA Pharma is a rapidly growing transatlantic specialty pharmaceutical
company focused on in-licensing, developing and marketing late-stage oncology,
pain control and critical care products. The company currently has six
products on the market, including the antibiotic surgical implant
Collatamp(R) G, Erwinase(R) and Kidrolase(R) for the treatment of acute
lymphoblastic leukemia, and Rapydan(TM), a rapid-onset anesthetic patch which
received Europe-wide approval in late 2007. EUSA also has several products in
late-stage development, notably Collatamp(R) G topical, a gentamicin
impregnated collagen sponge for the prevention and treatment of infected skin
ulcers and CollaRx(R) bupivacaine implant for local post-surgical pain
control.
    Founded in 2006, EUSA Pharma is supported by a consortium of leading life
science capital investors, comprising Essex Woodlands, 3i, Goldman Sachs,
Advent Venture Partners, SV Life Sciences, NeoMed and NovaQuest. Since its
foundation, the company has raised over $225 million and completed several
significant transactions, including the acquisitions of Talisker Pharma Ltd,
the French biopharmaceutical company OPi SA and the European antibiotic and
pain control business of Innocoll Pharmaceuticals Inc. As part of its rapid
growth strategy the company has established commercial infrastructure in the
US, a pan-European presence covering over 20 countries and a wider
distribution network in a further 25 territories. EUSA Pharma plans to
continue its aggressive program of acquisitions and in-licensing within its
specialist areas of medical and geographic focus, in line with its ambitious
target to create a rapidly growing $1 billion company by the beginning of the
next decade.
    For more information please visit http://www.eusapharma.com.




For further information:

For further information: Bryan Morton, Chief Executive, EUSA Pharma,
Tel: +44(0)1865-784255; Rob Budge, RJB Communications, Tel: +44(0)1865-760969,
Mobile: +44(0)7710-741241

Organization Profile

EUSA PHARMA INC.

More on this organization


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890