) shares climbed 6.97% after the company announced that it has
entered into an agreement to acquire the rights to defibrotide from
Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The deal is expected to close in
the third quarter of 2014.
Sigma-Tau held the rights to defibrotide on the basis of an
agreement with Gentium, which was acquired by Jazz Pharma earlier
Jazz Pharma markets defibrotide in Europe under the brand name
Defitelio for the treatment of severe hepatic veno-occlusive
disease (VOD) in patients over one month of age undergoing
hematopoietic stem cell transplantation therapy. The company is
working with the FDA on a regulatory pathway for defibrotide as a
treatment for severe VOD with a potential new drug application
(NDA) submission planned for the first half of 2015.
Terms of the Agreement
As per the terms of the agreement, Jazz Pharma will acquire rights
to defibrotide in all countries in the Americas including the U.S.
from Sigma-Tau. In return, Jazz Pharma will make an upfront payment
of $75 million. Apart from that, Sigma-Tau will receive milestone
payments of up to $25 million from Jazz Pharma once the FDA accepts
defibrotide's NDA for the VOD indication and up to $150 million
based on the timing of FDA approval.
With this agreement, Jazz Pharma will secure remaining worldwide
rights to defibrotide. The company launched Defitelio in some EU
countries (including Germany, Austria and the UK) with launches
expected to continue over the rest of this year and the next. We
are positive on the Sigma-Tau deal. Defibrotide is expected to be
synergistic with its Jazz Pharma's cancer drug, Erwinaze's sales
Defibrotide enjoys fast track designation for the VOD indication in
the U.S. and orphan drug status in both the U.S. and the EU for the
treatment and prevention of VOD.
Jazz Pharma holds a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some better-ranked stocks
in the health care sector include
Biogen Idec Inc.
ANI Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
). All these stocks hold a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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