Dallas, Texas 12/16/2014 (FINANCIALSTRENDS) – Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ANTH) recently entered into an exclusive license agreement for its subcutaneous blisibimod with Tokyo-based Zenyaku Kogyo Co., Ltd. As per the agreement, Anthera licensed exclusive development and commercialization rights for this product in Japan.
In exchange, Zenyaku will provide up to $26 million over the next 18 months and will also reimburse the company for blisibimod’s global development, including a portion of clinical trial expenditures. Under the terms of this agreement, Zenyaku will purchase all clinical supplies of blisibimod from the company.
The agreement could be expanded in future to cover other territories in that region. Anthera continues to retain development and commercialization rights of blisibimod for rest of the world including the EU and North America.
Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ANTH) will receive the proceeds through a combination of multiple equity purchases of the company’s common stock and forgivable loan. In addition, the company could also receive an additional $22 million toward future development and sales milestones. Proceeds from this contract would significantly lower the company’s product development related expenses through 2018.
In addition, Anthera also required to modify certain milestone and royalty payment terms relating to Japan with Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN), which is the originator of blisibimod.
Paul F. Truex, President and CEO of Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ANTH), said that the Zenyaku partnership brings together two highly complementary organizations in the development of oncology and immunology therapeutics. Zenyaku’s long-standing experience with Rituxan, including its recent approval for relapsing steroid-dependent nephrotic syndrome in Japan, will play important role as the company advances its blisibimod for treatment of IgA Nephropathy.
Anthera’s recently agreement follows its October announcement, where the company reported that it is pursuing potential partnership negotiations for blisibimod in territories outside the U.S., for both lupus and IgA nephropathy indications.