Kolon Life Science Inc. has signed 500 billion won ($438 million) out-licensing deal with Japan’s Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation over Invossa, the Korean pharmaceutical company’s cell therapy drug to treat degenerative arthritis.
Under the contract, Kolon Life Science will receive an upfront payment of 27.3 billion won and a milestone payment of 471.6 billion won from the Japanese company. An official at Kolon Life Science claimed the deal is “the single largest out-licensing deal in history.” He also said the company expects to receive double-digit marketing royalties after the product is launched.
Invossa is the world’s first cell therapy drug to treat degenerative arthritis, according to Kolon Life Science. The company completed a phase III study of the drug, which is now under a regulatory review in Korea.
Study results have shown that Invossa patients with degenerative arthritis experienced a pain reduction for more than a year and increased physical activities after one-time injection without surgery.
Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma will have exclusive development and marketing rights for Invossa in Japan, while Kolon Life Science will produce and provide Invossa to Japan.
“The out-licensing deal to Japan well known for its rigid quality control means that Invossa is recognized internationally,” said Lee Woos-eok, president of Kolon Life Science.
Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma is the world’s 50th pharmaceutical exporter and the largest distributor of rheumatoid arthritis drugs in Japan.