- Israeli drugmaker Teva on Monday returned full global rights for a heart failure drug to Mesoblast, sinking the Australian company’s stock by over 40% (listed on Nasdaq).
- Mesoblast will now have to move forward with the drug’s development alone, although the company indicated it was open to partnering with other cardiovascular companies.
- Teva inherited the co-development program with Mesoblast when it acquired Cephalon in 2011, but is now focusing more on its generics portfolio and central nervous system drugs.
Mesoblast put an optimistic spin on the news, indicating it believes the drug has the potential to be a multibillion dollar blockbuster.
The company said it had been offered an equity financing facility to fund further clinical development for drug, known as MPC-150-IM. Details on who had offered the financing and whether it would be dilutive were not disclosed, however.
Two months ago a data monitoring committee recommended a phase 3 study of the drug proceed without modifications after reviewing initial efficacy and safety data. Recruitment is still ongoing, with roughly 40% of the intended 600 patients recruited so far.
“We thank our partner Teva for having brought our Phase 3 heart failure program to this advanced stage of development, and acknowledge their decision is based on strategic reasons aligned to their core therapeutic areas of focus,” said Mesoblast CEO Silviu Itescu.
“Mesoblast now has unencumbered rights to partner with a leading cardiovascular company with a commitment to heart failure product commercialization,” continued Itsecu in a prepared statement.
The slump in Mesoblast’s shares lowers the value of Teva’s 14.6% stake in the company, assumed when Teva acquired Cephalon. Some analysts have raised the question of whether Teva might sell its stake in addition to exiting the development partnership, according to the Australian Financial Review.