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Feb 28, 2014

Astellas Takes Over Isavuconazole Manufacturing and Promotion in U.S., Canada

  • Four years after Astellas Pharma entered a multimillion-dollar license, co-development, and co-promotion agreement with Basilea Pharmaceutica for Basilea's azole antifungal agent isavuconazole, Astellas has now amended the agreement: The firm is now responsible for all regulatory filings and is assuming full responsibility for manufacturing and commercializing isavuconazole in both the U.S. and Canada. In exchange for waving its co-promotion rights in those two nations, Basilea is getting full rights to isavuconazole in the rest of the world.

    Under the new arrangements, Astellas will still pay development milestones every time Basilea submits an NDA in the U.S. However, the total amount Astellas can now pay Basilea for reaching those milestones is CHF 374 million (around $424.12 million). Under the original February 2010 deal, Astellas paid Basilea CHF 75 million ($85 million) upfront, and Basilea could have received up to CHF 478 million ($542 million) in additional payments upon reaching certain agreed-upon milestones.

    Astellas says it's going to continue its collaborative relationship with Basilea to develop isavuconazole for serious fungal infections in the U.S. and Canada. However, the firm did just two weeks ago end a three-year collaboration with Aveo Oncology to co-develop colorectal cancer candidate tivozanib (ASP4130) based on disappointing clinical status in the three indications for which tivozanib was studied.

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