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Sun Pharma Buys Novartis’ Anti-cancer Brand Odomzo For $175 Million

Reason for selling this new anti-cancer drug by Novartis, which consolidated its global oncology business by acquiring the entire cancer drug portfolio of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in a $16 billion global deal in March 2015, is not disclosed

Photo Credit : Reuters,

Drug maker Sun Pharma said on Thursday (December 22) that the company along with its subsidiaries and associates have decided to acquire Swiss-pharma multinational Novartis’ anti-cancer brand Odomzo for at least $175 million. The agreement has been signed between subsidiaries of both the companies and will close following anti-trust clearance and further closing conditions, it said.

As per the agreement, Sun Pharma will also pay additional milestone payments to Novartis for this product in later stages. Odomzo, which was approved by the US FDA in July 2015, is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with locally advanced basal cell carcinoma (laBCC), a type of skin cancer. About 70 per cent of the prescribers of this drug are dermatologists and rests are oncologists in the US. According to drug market researcher IMS Health, prescription for this category of drugs, grew by 40 per cent in 2016.

Sun Pharma claimed that the clinical trials data for this drug showed continued antitumor activity for more than 26 months in patients with no new safety concerns.

“Odomzo gives us an opportunity to meaningfully expand our already established branded dermatology business and support our expansion into branded oncology market with an already launched brand. We see meaningful global potential for Odomzo by leveraging Sun Pharma’s existing dermatology and oncology infrastructure to provide an innovative product to basal cell carcinoma patients worldwide,” said Kirti Ganorkar, Global Head – Business Development, at Sun Pharma.

However, the reason behind the move to sell this anti-cancer drug by Novartis, which consolidated its global oncology business by acquiring the entire cancer drug portfolio of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in a $16 billion global deal in March 2015, is not disclosed.

Non-melanoma skin cancer is the most common form of skin cancer globally. Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) currently accounts for approximately 80 per cent of non-melanoma skin cancers and there are about 2 million estimated cases in the US alone. This disease consists of abnormal, uncontrolled growths or lesions that arise in the skin's basal cells, which line the outermost layer of the skin. It occurs most frequently on the head and neck, with the nose being the most common site. BCC that spreads from where it started to nearby tissue is called locally advanced and can be highly disfiguring. Advanced BCC is thought to represent roughly 1-10 per cent of all cases of BCC. Worldwide incidence of BCC is rising by 10 per cent each year due to factors such as an aging population and increased ultraviolet exposure.

According to Jesper Jensen, Head of Biologics and Dermatology at Sun Pharma, his company look forward to collaborating with the medical community to bring this novel therapy to the market to patients suffering from locally advanced basal cell carcinoma. “Odomzo also complements and enhances our existing Dermatology franchise. This acquisition has the potential to leverage and expand the relationships that our Levulan sales team have with the Dermatologists that treat common pre-cancerous skin conditions,” Jensen added.


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