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Jan 20, 2009

Abraxis Divests Everything Except Abraxane Franchise to Spinout

  • Abraxis BioScience decided to spin out Abraxis Health, which will focus on evidence-based, personalized healthcare. Abraxis BioScience will concentrate solely on the marketing of its cancer therapy, Abraxane, and line-extension trials of the drug. Abraxis BioScience will also keep rights to its nab® platform.

    Abraxis Health will obtain the assets and liabilities constituting the drug discovery and pilot manufacturing operations currently being conducted through Abraxis BioScience. It also obtains development programs other than those with Abraxane. This includes an early- and mid-stage studies for Coroxane in cardiovascular indications.

    Abraxis BioScience shareholders will receive Abraxis Health shares in accordance with the percentage ownership of Abraxis BioScience and will continue to hold existing shares of Abraxis BioScience.

    Abraxane is indicated for second-line treatment of metastatic breast cancer following failure of combination chemotherapy for metastatic disease. For the nine months ended September 30, Abraxis reported revenue from sales of Abraxane of $245.8 million compared with $235.9 million for the same period in 2007. The company also said that the drug’s share in second-line metastatic breast cancer achieved an all time high of 42% of the taxane market.

    It is also being investigated in various settings including first-line treatment. “In 2009, we plan to initiate nine pivotal registrational trials in multiple tumor types including breast cancer, lung, melanoma, and pancreatic cancers,” according to Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., chairman and CEO of Abraxis BioScience. “In addition, Abraxis has initiated 65 investigator-sponsored Phase II studies and 16 Phase I studies.”

    Abraxis Health, on the other hand, has been created to focus on generating biological systems and advancing personalized medicine through strategic alliances and internal development. “We believe we are able to use the molecular profile of disease to deliver the right medicine to the right patient at the right time,” says Dr. Soon-Shiong, who will become chairman and CEO of the newly established company.

    “This will require a novel, global healthcare infrastructure with seamless communication among its various components, including a network of tissue resources, a national tissue repository, next-generation diagnostic and molecular interrogation techniques, validated and quantitative norms to differentiate normal from disease states, a network of clinical sites working in collaboration to identify cohorts of patients with similar abnormal molecular profiles, and an iterative clinical testing program to evaluate drugs based on activity against the particular molecular profile as well as a bioinformatic infrastructure integrating all of these elements.”

    This is the second separation of franchises for Abraxis BioScience, which was formed in July 2007. At the time, Abraxis Pharmaceutical Products was formed from the hospital-based product business and Abraxis Oncology and Abraxis Research came to be Abraxis BioScience.



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