Seven years after its last major deal, FibroGen Inc. has now carved up worldwide rights to FG-4592 via its new deal with AstraZeneca plc. A key task for FibroGen is now to execute in China, where the biotech's deals give it development, regulatory and manufacturing responsibility for the oral anemia compound.
Meanwhile, its new pharma partner needs to help FibroGen navigate a U.S. regulatory system on heightened alert and sell a product in China where infrastructure for anemia drugs has been lacking.
FibroGen's first significant deal was in 2004, when Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. licensed Japanese rights to the biotech's hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl hydroxylase (HIF-PH; EGLN) inhibitor program. The economics included $27.5 million up front, a $30.5 million equity investment and up to $140 million in milestones.
Two years later, Astellas Pharma Inc. re-upped with FibroGen. The Japanese pharma, created in 2005 through the merger of Yamanouchi and Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., added rights to FG-4592, along with FG-2216 and other HIF-PH inhibitors in Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Middle East and South Africa.
That deal included $300 million up front, a $50