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8 November, 2018 - 11:29 By Kate Sweeney

Vectura lines up potential $195m royalties haul

Inhaler pioneer Vectura Group, whose devices research hub is based on Cambridge Science Park, has set up a potential royalties bonanza with $2 billion global pharmaceutical giant Hikma.

Vectura stands to gain $195 million subject to certain milestones being hit along the development roadmap. It will inject $70m into the partnership along the way but that still leaves clear water of around $125m.

The Vectura-Hikma partnership involves worldwide development and commercialisation of generic versions of GSK’s Ellipta® portfolio, utilising Vectura’s proprietary Open-Inhale-Close dry powder inhaler device.

The technology has the potential for major blockbuster status with sales running into billions following a promising engagement with the US FDA.

The Cambridge UK business receives an upfront payment of $15m, up to $80m of development milestone payments with another $100m up for grabs based on significant sales targets further down the turnpike.

Following interactions with US FDA, the Open-Inhale-Close dry powder inhaler device has the potential to be developed as an AB-rated substitutable drug-device combination for generic versions of the GSK Ellipta® portfolio.

This presents a significant opportunity, with net sales for Ellipta® products in the US projected to be $4bn by 2024 and over $5.5bn globally.

James Ward-Lilley, Vectura’s chief executive, said: “This is a highly significant and valuable agreement for Vectura, reflecting our increased focus in our complex inhaled generic portfolio.

“The agreement validates Vectura’s rare, industry-leading development capabilities. It also reflects the strong existing relationship we have with Hikma and their confidence in the future of the substitutable inhaled generic segment including VR315 our joint Advair® generic programme.”

The Open-Inhale-Close dry powder inhaler programme includes the development of AB-rated substitutable generics of up to five GSK respiratory medicines. Vectura and Hikma have agreed to develop and commercialise at least three of the portfolio products.

Headquartered in London, Hikma established its branded generic medicines business in the Middle East and North Africa. It has grown into a $2bn global generic pharmaceuticals company with significant muscle in the US based on a successful hit rate with products set before the FDA.

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