Amag Pharma Gets $60M Upfront in Licensing Deal with Takeda

Xconomy Boston — 

[Updated, 4/01/10, 4:40 pm] Amag Pharmaceuticals has struck a deal to expand global marketing of its best-selling drug. The Lexington, MA-based company (NASDAQ:AMAG) reports this morning that it has licensed its iron deficiency anemia drug to Japanese drug giant Takeda Pharmaceutical Company in a deal that includes $60 million in initial fees.

The deal gives Takeda an exclusive license to all therapeutic uses of Amag’s drug, ferumoxytol (Feraheme), in Europe, former Soviet states, Asia Pacific countries (excluding China, Japan, and Taiwan), Canada, and Turkey. Amag, which received FDA approval in June 2009 to market the drug as a treatment for iron deficiency anemia in adults with chronic kidney disease, will continue to control rights to the drug and handle sales of the product in the U.S. [Editor’s note: The word “therapeutic” was inadvertently omitted from the paragraph above when this story was published this morning.]

For Amag, this deal provides cash to seek additional approvals for ferumoxytol as well as an organization to sell its lead product in the next big potential market for the drug, Europe. The company plans to file an application with the European Medicines Agency in mid-2010 for permission to market the drug in European Union countries for patients with chronic kidney disease. Takeda has agreed to pay Amag $220 million in milestone fees for meeting certain development goals with the drug as well as double-digit royalties on Takeda’s potential sales of the product in the territories included in the deal.

“Takeda’s global presence, their pipeline that includes complementary products to [ferumoxytol] and their strength in the marketing and commercialization of therapeutics across many specialties where iron deficiency anemia is present makes them the ideal partner,” Brian Pereira, Amag’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

Last year, Amag took in $15.8 million in revenue from sales of ferumoxytol. The iron-replacement drug, which is intended to boost the amount of oxygen-carrying proteins in blood, is given to patients intravenously. About $500 million in injected iron-replacement drugs are sold annually for the some 400,000 Americans with kidney failure, according to analysts at Robert W. Baird.