PFNX In Development Pact For Macular Degeneration Drug; KYTH Acquires Worldwide Rights To Potential Novel Treatment Of Hair Loss

Pfenex Inc. (NYSX: PFNXshares gained more than 20 percent after the company disclosed its macular degeneration drug candidate will get collaborative support from Hospira, Inc. HSP 0.01%.

The drug under development is aimed at competing as a so-called biosimilar with Roche Holding Ltd. (ADR)'s RHHBY 0.23% ranibizumab injection, called Lucentis, which had estimated sales last year of $4 billion.

Pfenex and Hospira will share the Phase 3 trial costs and Pfenex will receive "double digit" royalty payment on net sales that may follow.  Hospira will be responsible for manufacturing and commercializing the product worldwide.

Under terms of the agreement, Pfenex will receive an upfront payment of $51 million from Chicago-based Hospira, and will be eligible for an additional $291 million over the next five years in a combination of development and sales-based milestone payments.

The collaboration is subject to antitrust approval.  Pfenex is currently conducting a safety trial where 24 patients have been randomized to receive monthly intraocular injections of the treatment for three doses and ongoing patient follow-up for 12 months.

San Diego-based Pfenex changed hands recently at $8.25, up $1.35.

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