Medivir said today it will split by year’s end into two companies—one focused on developing its drug portfolio, the other focused on commercial operations.
“The objective of the separation is to visualize the value of both the commercial operations and the pharmaceutical projects that make up the R&D portfolio,” Medivir said in a statement.
The commercial company will oversee the company’s 15 marketed drugs. One is the hepatitis C treatment Olysio® (simeprevir), an NS3/4A protease inhibitor jointly developed by Medivir and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen R&D Ireland.
Another is Adasuve® (loxapine), an inhaled medicine for acute treatment of agitation associated with schizophrenia or bipolar I disorder. Medivir launched Adasuve in Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark in 2013 under license from Ferrer—which earlier this year acquired Adasuve developer Alexza Pharmaceuticals.
Also to be marketed by the commercial company are the 13 drugs that form Medivir’s Nordic Brands Portfolio, which the company obtained through the acquisition of BioPhausia in 2011. The 13 have indications related to central nervous system (CNS), cardiovascular system, gout, musculoskeletal system, pain, respiratory system, stomach/intestine, and zinc deficiency.
The commercial company will have a separate public listing on the First North Premium exchange.
The R&D-focused company will develop Medivir’s pipeline, whose sole clinical candidate is MIV-711, a cathepsin K inhibitor indicated for the treatment of osteoarthritis. MIV-711 is the subject of a Phase IIa trial assessing the candidate in patients with moderate knee osteoarthritis. Data is expected to be available in the third quarter of 2017.
The company’s preclinical candidates include a nucleotide DNA polymerase inhibitor indicated for hepatocellular carcinoma and a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) fusion protein inhibitor indicated for RSV infection. Discovery-phase candidates include an human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) protease inhibitor being developed in partnership with Janssen.
Earlier this month, Medivir sold rights to another preclinical candidate—MIV-802, a nucleotide-based polymerase inhibitor indicated for hepatitis C virus—to Trek Pharmaceuticals for an undisclosed price. Those rights covered most of the world, except China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.
Medivir said it will provide additional details on the corporate split at a future capital markets day.
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.
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.
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.