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RedHill Acquires Mesupron from Wilex

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Several pharma/biotech companies are keen to acquire candidates in pipeline stages thereby saving cost and time involved in preclinical studies.

Israel-based biopharmaceutical company RedHill Biopharma Ltd. (RDHL) recently entered into a license agreement with Germany-based Wilex Ag.

As per the terms of the agreement, RedHill acquired the exclusive development and commercialization rights to oncology candidate Mesupron. The agreement excluded the territories of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao.

RedHill will make an upfront payment of $1 million to Wilex along with potential tiered royalties on net revenues, ranging from mid-teens to 30%. RedHill will be responsible for all development, regulatory and commercialization activities related to Mesupron.

We note that Wilex was evaluating Mesupron, a urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) inhibitor, for the treatment of pancreatic, gastric, breast and prostate cancers. The company had completed phase II studies on Mesupron for both pancreatic cancer and metastatic breast cancer. The phase II studies established the candidate’s safety and tolerability profile.

The acquisition will further broaden RedHill’s long pipeline which includes RHB104 for the treatment of Crohn’s disease (phase III), RHB-105 – an oral combination therapy for Helicobacter pylori infection (phase III study), RHB-103 for acute migraines (NDA under review in the U.S.), RHB102 (oral pill formulation of ondansetron for the prevention of nausea and vomiting, in advanced development stages for multiple indications).

RedHill Biopharma carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the broader healthcare sector include Regeneron Pharmaceutcials (REGN), Allergan (AGN) and Shire (SHPG). While Regeneron Pharma carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Shire and Allergan hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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