MGI Pharma has shelled out $45 million as a down payment for a Phase II therapy for thrombocytopenia, an abnormal drop in blood cells involved in forming blood clots. MGI says the deal to commercialize AKR-501 gives it a potential blockbuster, and MGI is keeping an option to buy the developer, AkaRx, for another $255 million payment. MGI plans to launch a Phase III study of the drug in the next 18 months, which could take two years to complete. MGI also licensed AKR-201 for thyroid cancer in the deal.
"We are pleased to have obtained the rights to this advanced-stage product with significant revenue potential that is being developed for multiple indications. AKR-501 provides MGI PHARMA with a tremendous opportunity for sustained revenue growth in future years, with U.S. peak revenue potential exceeding $1 billion," said CEO Lonnie Moulder.