PDL BioPharma Acquires Royalty Interest in Cerdelga

PDL BioPharma has acquired a portion of the University of Michigan’s (U-M) worldwide royalty interest in Cerdelga (eliglustat) for $65.6 million. Cerdelga, an oral therapy for adult patients with Gaucher disease Type 1, was developed by Genzyme, a Sanofi company. Cerdelga was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in August 2014.

Under  the royalty agreement, PDL will receive 75% of all royalty payments due under U-M’s license agreement with Genzyme until expiration of the licensed patents, excluding any patent-term extension. The royalty rate used to calculate the royalties to be paid by Genzyme to U-M was not disclosed by the parties. In addition to the recent FDA approval, marketing applications for Cerdelga are under review by the European Medicines Agency and other regulatory authorities. 

Cerdelga is a ceramide analog given orally and was designed to partially inhibit the enzyme glucosylceramide synthase, resulting in reduced production of glucosylceramide. Glucosylceramide is the substance that builds up in the cells and tissues of people with Gaucher disease.  The concept was initially developed by the late Norman Radin , PhD, from the University of Michigan, and further developed by James A. Shayman , MD, also from the University of Michigan, prior to and after licensing the compound to Genzyme.

PDL manages a portfolio of patents and royalty assets, consisting primarily of antibody humanization patents and license agreements with various biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.

Source: PDL BioPharma

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