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GEN News Highlights : Jul 18, 2013

Royalty Pharma Buys Quest Cancer Candidate Royalty Rights for $485M

Quest Diagnostics today said Royalty Pharma has purchased its rights to royalties from commercialization of cancer candidate ibrutinib in a $485 million all-cash deal.

Quest gained rights to royalties on ibrutinib—a Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitor currently in in Phase III development by Pharmacyclics and Janssen—as part of its 2011 acquisition of Celera.

Noting his firm’s focus on diagnostic information services, Quest President and CEO Steve Rusckowski said: “The ibrutinib royalty rights were not core to our business. After considering interest in ibrutinib, we conducted a robust market process, and believe that selling now is in the best interests of our shareholders.”

Before associated transaction costs, Quest anticipates this sale will result in post-tax proceeds of approximately $300 million. The firm notes it continues to retain royalty rights to other clinical indications that result from Celera’s drug assets.

Royalty’s Pablo Legorreta, founder and CEO, called the ibrutinib deal a “win-win transaction, in which Quest was able to dispose of a non-core asset as part of its strategic plan and we were able to acquire an interest in ibrutinib, an exciting potential therapy addressing the needs of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, small lymphocytic lymphoma and mantle cell lymphoma.”