Sector News

Horizon looks to the future with massive San Francisco manufacturing, R&D plant

December 4, 2019
Life sciences

Horizon Therapeutics, once known for its primary care drugs, is looking to pivot further to rare diseases with the FDA scrutinizing its late-stage inflammatory eye disease candidate.

In the meantime, Horizon is, well, looking to the horizon with a new manufacturing and R&D facility that could help boost its growing pipeline.

Horizon recently opened a 20,000-square-foot facility in South San Francisco that will “feature laboratory space that will enable formulation and process development for manufacturing, as well as bioanalytical method development and other R&D functions,” the company said in a release.

The Irish drugmaker said its position in the city’s well-traveled biotech hub would allow it to form new partnerships with existing companies and institutions in the area.

“We are excited to join the thriving life sciences community of South San Francisco, allowing us the opportunity to connect to newer technologies, leading academic institutions and the dynamic scientific area at large,” Horizon CEO and chairman Timothy Walbert said.

The company didn’t disclose the price of the project or the number of employees that would be hired on but did say it planned to “add new positions in bioanalysis, clinical research, pharmacology, manufacturing and business development during the next year.”

Horizon is taking the plunge in San Francisco as it awaits an FDA priority review for inflammatory eye drug teprotumumab.

In June, Horizon said it planned to add around 40 to 45 sales rep positions in expectation of the drug’s approval. As of that time, Horizon said about 1,200 had submitted their resumes.

Teprotumumab is designed to treat thyroid eye disease (TED), where inflammation in the eyes causes symptoms such as double vision and eye bulging. Horizon got the drug through its $145 million acquisition of River Vision in 2017 on the heels of positive phase 2 results.

In September, the med received a priority review designation from the FDA, putting it on the fast course to an approval. Jefferies analysts said the drug could settle in around $150,000 per course of treatment once it hits the market.

The teprotumumab sales team will target 6,000 to 7,000 physicians, including 700 ocular plastic surgeons. Currently, patients often progress into inactive TED and could undergo surgery to reduce bulging eyes, Walbert told analysts in June.

Horizon recently began to shift its portfolio from primary care to one heavy in rare diseases and rheumatology. Primary care drugs made up 85% of sales in 2014, while rare disease assets contributed 69% to the company’s 2018 revenues, the Jefferies analysts noted. And to mark its transition to an R&D-focused strategy, the company just recently changed the ending of its name from “Pharma” to “Therapeutics.”

While Horizon continues to look at potential acquisitions, management believes it can still double revenues from the existing portfolio in the coming years, driven mainly by teprotumumab and gout drug Krystexxa, Jefferies said.

By Kyle Blankenship

Source: Fierce Pharma

comments closed

Related News

January 29, 2023

Colorcon, Inc. signs Put agreement with intent to acquire controlled atmosphere packaging specialist Airnov Healthcare Packaging

Life sciences

Airnov provides critical healthcare industries with high-quality, controlled atmosphere packaging, to protect their products from moisture and oxygen. The business has manufacturing facilities in the USA, France, China and India and employs around 700 people.

January 29, 2023

Takeda pledges up to $1.13B for rights to Hutchmed’s cancer drug fruquintinib outside of China

Life sciences

Takeda of Japan has partnered with Hong Kong-based Hutchmed, gaining the commercial rights to colorectal cancer drug fruquintinib outside of China for $400 million up front, plus $730 million in potential milestone payments. Takeda also will help develop fruquintinib, which can be applied to subtypes of refractory metastatic colorectal cancer, regardless of biomarker status, the companies said.

January 29, 2023

Vir taps Bayer dealmaker Marianne De Backer as its next CEO

Life sciences

On April 3, Scangos, who’s been chief executive officer at Vir since the start of 2017, will hand over the reins to Marianne De Backer, Ph.D. De Backer comes over from Bayer, where she currently heads up pharmaceutical strategy, business development and licensing. Alongside her CEO appointment, De Backer is set to join Vir’s board of directors, the company said Wednesday.

How can we help you?

We're easy to reach