Thu, Jan 16, 2014 - Page 13 News List

TaiGen, R-Pharm ink license pact

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Drug maker TaiGen Biotechnology Co (太景生技) yesterday said it had signed an exclusive licensing contract with Moscow-based drug maker R-Pharm on Tuesday for the sale of the antibiotic nemonoxacin in Turkey, the Russian Federation and other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

Under the terms of the agreement, R-Pharm will enjoy the exclusive rights to nemonoxacin — trade name Taigexyn — for 15 years in these territories, TaiGen said, adding that R-Pharm would be responsible for the development, registration and commercialization of nemonoxacin in these territories and assume all associated costs.

TaiGen will receive a down payment, milestone payments and royalties from R-Pharm, it said, but did not give detailed figures because of a non-disclosure agreement with R-Pharm.

The company will book the down payment within 10 days, it said, adding that the royalties are 7 to 11 percent higher than the licensing contract it signed with Zhejiang Medicine Co (浙江醫藥) for the Chinese market, because of higher marketing expanses there, TaiGen said.

R-Pharm will conduct bridging trials for both oral and intravenous formulations of nemonoxacin, which are expected to take one to two years, before the drug hits the market, the company said.

The pharmaceutical markets in the countries included in the deal are worth about US$36 billion a year, TaiGen said.

Sales of antibiotics in Russia total US$1.4 billion a year, with sales of quinolone, a type of antibiotic, estimated at about US$200 million a year, TaiGen said.

Nemonoxacin is a quinolone.

“We are highly optimistic about the growth of pharmaceutical markets in these nations, a lot of which are emerging markets with strong economic growth,” TaiGen CEO and chairwoman Hsu Ming-chu (許明珠) said at a press conference yesterday.

According to IMS Health, a US-based pharmaceutical data management company, Russia is the world’s 11th-largest drug market, while Turkey is the 17th, Hsu said.

Russia is forecast to become the seventh-largest drug market by 2017, Hsu added.

While some people in China and the other countries have developed a resistance to antibiotics, nemonoxacin is still an effective cure, he said.

R-Pharm is a privately owned company with a revenue of US$1.8 billion last year, according to TaiGen. It has 2,800 employees around the world and has factories to make formulations and active pharmaceutical ingredients in accordance with good manufacturing practices standard, TaiGen said.

Last year, TaiGen posted a revenue of NT$69.88 million (US$2.31 million), up 72.79 percent from NT$40.44 million a year ago, according to the company’s filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

TaiGen will book an income of US$1 million by the end of the first half of this year from Zhejiang Medicine, as nemonoxacin’s oral formulation for curing community-acquired pneumonia receives drug permits in Taiwan and China.

The company is set to shift to the GRETAI Securities market on Friday from the Emerging Stock Market (興櫃市場), issuing 2.2 million shares at NT$50 per share.

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