12:00 AM
 | 
Oct 22, 2007
 |  BioCentury  |  Strategy

Once was enough

Realizing it may have caught lightning in a bottle with its licensing arrangement for Roche's CellCept, Aspreva Pharmaceuticals Corp. gave up its search for new in-licensing candidates and instead agreed to sell itself to Galenica Group. The Swiss company, in turn, needed a North American presence as it awaits an FDA response on an NDA for its Ferinject iron replacement.

Aspreva (TSX:ASV; ASPV, Victoria, B.C.) began life by scouring big pharma's shelves for marketed products with potential in peripheral indications, particularly disease areas where the pharma partner would not venture because of relatively small incremental value. Chairman and CEO J. William Freytag said the original business model involved approaching the potential pharma partner with an offer "to take all of the clinical risk in exchange for half of the upside value" (see BioCentury, Nov. 3, 2003).

The company did well on its first - and only - try, a 2003 deal that provided ex-Japanese rights to CellCept mycophenolate mofetil...

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