Thursday, November 16, 2006

Pharmion: Bucks the Trend

After a fury of CO life science companies that have recently been acquired (e.g. Myogen/Gilead, RxKinetix/Endo and Sirna/Merck), Pharmion, Inc. (NASDAQ: PHRM) has reversed this local trend and gone out and purchased Cabrellis (privately held, San Diego, CA) for $55M with an additional $45M pending. Two additional payments of $12.5M are expected upon approval of amrubicin. Upon amrubicin's approval for a second indication in the US or EU an additional payment of $10 million will be made for each additional market.

Amrubicin (CALSED™) has been approved in Japan since 2002, for the treatment of SCLC and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Pharmion intends to initiate a Phase 3 registrational study in relapsed/refractory SCLC in the second half of 2007. Using data from these studies and supporting Japanese data, Pharmion expects to submit a NDA and a Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) in the EU for the treatment of relapsed/refractory SCLC during 2009.

The transaction adheres to the Pharmion model of late stage licensing and acquisitions; it may yield near term revenue (as early as 2010), complements the platform while expanding into solid tumor therapies and will also explore amrubicin in combination with their two epigenetic inhibitors.

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