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Onyx acquires Proteolix cancer drug


Onyx Pharmaceuticals is to acquire fellow San Francisco drug company Proteolix in a deal that hinges on the success of the latter’s cancer-treatment candidate carfilzomib.

Onyx will pay £175 million upfront, £25 million next year – if carfilzomib reaches a development milestone – and £340 million if the drug is approved in the US and Europe.

That includes a £108 million if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agrees to a fast review of the drug.

The intravenous treatment is similar to Johnson & Johnson’s Velcade, and Proteolix is working on a second similar drug that could be taken orally.

Carfilzomib is being tested as a treatment for multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and solid tumours, and is designed to trigger cancer-cell death with minimal collateral damage.

Proteolix is at present conducting midstage clinical trials of carfilzomib as a standalone treatment for multiple myeloma, which is a cancer of the blood.

Copyright Press Association 2009


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