Sequella inks $50M Russian licensing pact for TB treatment

Rockville, MD-based Sequella has completed a round of high-fives with leaders of the region's biotech community after inking a licensing pact covering Russia and surrounding states for its mid-stage tuberculosis treatment. Sequella boasts that the deal is potentially worth up to $50 million, though it didn't break down the equity investment, trial supply purchase, milestones and royalties included in the longterm pact with Maxwell Biotech Venture Fund.

The subject of the deal is SQ109, a TB treatment now in Phase II in Africa. Alan Klein, Sequella's business development chief, tells the that a successful mid-stage study might make it possible for the company to file the drug in the U.S. and Europe, with Maxwell in charge of registering the candidate in Russia.

Maxwell "is a well-capitalized venture fund with a significant minority ownership stake from the Russian government," Klein told the news site. "They know they need to attack the TB problem in Russia." The payback from the deal is slated to run over the course of a lengthy marketing program, providing Maxwell can gain an approval from Russian regulatory authorities.

"We are delighted to be working with such an internationally respected partner as Maxwell Biotech Venture Fund for our first licensing deal for SQ109," said Dr. Carol Nacy, CEO of Sequella. "With TB, and particularly multi-drug resistant TB, increasing at alarming rates in Russia and (surrounding countries), the value of a successful new drug for TB can be measured not only monetarily, but in patient lives. This is a great day for the TB patients in that territory and the TB community in general."

- here's the Sequella release
- read the report from