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La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company

Drug Names(s): abetimus sodium, LJP394, LJP 394

Description: Riquent is a mixture of four pieces of double stranded DNAs, each 20 nucleotides in length. The mixture is an analog of the DNA that simulates a B cell-mediated autoimmune response in many lupus patients. In theory, the drug stimulates B cells in lupus patients to become tolerant to stimulation by their own DNA, dampening the autoimmune response. Riquent is comprised of a lupus disease specific epitope attached to a carrier platform.

Riquent is an immunomodulating agent that induces tolerance in B cells directed against double-stranded DNA (dsDNA). It does this by cross-linking surface antibodies. These antibodies are thought to be responsible for lupus nephritis, a chronic kidney disease that develops in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.

Deal Structure: In January 2009, BioMarin Pharmaceutical and La Jolla Pharmaceutical announced that they entered into an agreement to develop and commercialize Riquent in the US, Europe and all other territories of the world, excluding the Asia Pacific region. Following a successful Phase III trial, the parties will share equally in all losses and profits. In the US, BioMarin and La Jolla will jointly commercialize Riquent. In Europe and other territories outside of Asia, BioMarin will be responsible for all commercialization activities.

Under the terms of the agreement, BioMarin will receive a co-exclusive license to develop and commercialize Riquent and La Jolla could receive up to $289 million in cash through milestones and equity purchases by BioMarin. Specific payments include: $15 million upfront ($7.5 million cash and $7.5 million to buy preferred shares at a per-share price of $2.21171), up to approximately $92.5 million related to clinical milestones, $55 million for regulatory...See full deal structure in Biomedtracker

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