Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ANTH) recently announced that it is considering various options for overseas development of blisibimod for both lupus and IgA nephropathy indications. In the same direction, the company signed exclusive license agreement with Tokyo, Japan-based Zenyaku Kogyo Co., Ltd. Under the terms of this agreement, Anthera licensed blisibimod’s exclusive development and commercialization rights in Japan to Zenyaku.
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Anthera could also expand this agreement in future to cover other countries in Asia. The company retains global development and commercialization rights for remaining global territories including North America and the EU.
In line with this agreement, Anthera also required to change certain terms, particularly related to milestones and royalty payments, with the originator of blisibimod - Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN).
Under the terms of this agreement, Zenyaku will purchase clinical supplies related to blisibimod from Anthera and in exchange it will provide up to $26 million over the next 18 months to the company. Anthera could also receive an additional milestones payment of up to $22 million, upon accomplishing certain development and sales targets.
Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ANTH) is engaged in development and commercialization of pharmaceuticals to treat diseases associated with autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. Its lead candidate blisibimod is a Phase III agent having potential to treat various B-cell mediated autoimmune conditions. The company acquired its global rights from Amgen in January 2008, when the drug completed its Phase I study in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.
Anthera is also developing Sollpura®, which is an investigational Phase III product intended for the treatment of patients with EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency), may be caused by cystic fibrosis or potentially other conditions. The company recently inked a manufacturing and supply agreement with Patheon®, whereby the latter would support the production of Sollpura® for a SOLUTION registration trial scheduled to commence in 2015.
Anthera is also discussing the opportunities to expand this agreement with Patheon to secure full supply chain support and future commercial manufacturing supply for API (active pharmaceutical ingredients).
The positive developments with regards to Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ANTH)’s portfolio candidates ensure some momentum in this stock. However, the financial momentum would be gained only upon successful completion of clinical trials, regulatory filings for marketing applications and commencement of product sales.
Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ANTH) had happy investors for about two years back in the period of 2010-12. Since the second quarter of 2012, the stock began its descent from a high of $67.36 to hit a low of $1.53 in September 2014, with no visible signs of reversal yet. The last consolidation phase went on for about 10 months in the range of $2.50-$3.50 but broke down in September. The price has formed a Bear Flag in the last few weeks with support at $1.79.