Beside the upfront payment of $175 mn, said Sun, there would be additional milestone payments.
Novartis acquired GSK’s entire oncology portfolio last year in a multi-billion dollar deal. So, sale of this skin cancer drug has came as a surprise to analysts tracking the sector. “Odomzo gives us an opportunity to meaningfully expand our already established branded dermatology business and support our expansion into branded oncology with a launched brand,” said Kirti Ganorkar, global head of business development at Sun Pharma.
Dermatology and ophthalmics have been identified as key therapy segments by the Sun management as it ramps up its speciality business.
“Our initiatives in this segment cover the entire value chain, from in-licensing early-to-late stage clinical candidates, as well as getting access to on-market patented products,” said Sun’s managing director, Dilip Shanghvi, in his letter to shareholders in the 2015-16 annual report. The company has indicated that building a speciality drug pipeline might see a short-term impact on its profitability. It will also increase the spending on research and development to around nine per cent of sales in FY16.
Odomzo was approved by the US drug regulator in July 2015. It is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with locally advanced basal cell carcinoma.