New York - Pfizer Foots $60M Deal to Battle Gaucher's, Disease More Prone In Ashkenazi Jews
New York - Drug developer Pfizer Inc. is paying Protalix BioTherapeutics Inc. $60 million upfront for licensing rights to a developing Gaucher’s disease treatment, the companies said on Tuesday.
Under the deal, New York-based Pfizer will gain worldwide licensing rights to Israel-based Protalix’s taliglucerase alfa, while Protalix retains exclusive commercialization rights in Israel.
Taliglucerase alfa is an enzyme replacement therapy which has been designated an orphan drug by the Food and Drug Administration. Orphan drug status is given to drugs aimed at rare conditions or conditions that have a lack of treatments on the market. Incentives include seven years of market exclusivity following FDA approval, assistance in clinical trial design, a reduction in user fees, and tax credits.
Gaucher’s disease is an enzyme disorder that can lead to liver and neurologic problems.
Protalix will receive the $60 million upfront and is eligible to receive additional regulatory milestone payments of up to $55 million. Pfizer will pay for 60% of the expenses for the development and sales of the drug, while receiving 60% of revenue from sales.
The disease is caused by a recessive mutation in a gene located on chromosome 1 and affects both males and females. About 1 in 100 people in the United States are carriers of the most common type of Gaucher disease, while the carrier rate among Ashkenazi Jews is 1 in 15.
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