CTI BioPharma (CTI) has entered an exclusive license and collaboration agreement with Servier to develop and commercialize Pixuvri® (pixantrone) in a deal potentially worth up to €103 million (around $133.5 million). 

Servier is picking up the exclusive rights to commercialize Pixuvri in all countries except Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Israel, Norway, Sweden, Turkey, the U.K., and the U.S., where CTI will be retaining its full commercialization rights for the lymphoma drug. Servier is paying CTI €14 million (around $18.1 million) upfront and CTI could receive additional sales, clinical, and regulatory milestone payments as well as royalties on sales, all of which could total up to around $133.5 million.

According to CTI, Pixuvri is conditionally approved in the EU for patients with aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) who failed two or three prior lines of therapy; the drug is reportedly the first monotherapy treatment option for this patient group and also the only therapy licensed for third and fourth line use in aggressive B-cell NHL patients, which includes diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Pixuvri is currently available in 11 countries and, CTI says, has achieved reimbursement decisions under varying conditions in Italy, France, Germany, parts of the U.K., and the Netherlands. 

“We believe Servier represents the ideal strategic partner to achieve the full potential of Pixuvri, particularly in those regions of the world where CTI does not currently have, or plan to have a presence,” CTI's president and CEO James A. Bianco, M.D., said in a statement. “This collaboration will not only maximize the development, commercialization, and market potential of Pixuvri, but will also help accelerate potential development expansion into new indications. We believe Servier's development expense contributions could help us achieve a net positive contribution margin for Pixuvri this year and profitability in 2015 and beyond.” 

CTI was formerly known as Cell Therapeutics until it changed its name in May. “The rebranding from Cell Therapeutics to CTI BioPharma comes at a defining moment in our company's history and better reflects who we are today and our aspirations for becoming a leader in developing therapies for patients with blood-related cancers,” Dr. Bianco commented at the time.

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