Boehringer Ingelheim to Sell Interferon gamma-1b Global Rights to Horizon Pharma


Horizon Pharma is all set to acquire rights to Interferon gamma -1b outside of North America and Japan. This acquisition is from Boehringer Ingelheim.

horizon pharma official logoHorizon Pharma paid Boehringer Ingelheim €5 million and is meant to pay €20 million upon closing for the rights for interferon gamma -1b. Given to the satisfaction of the closing terms, the two companies expect to close the transaction by the end of this year.

Obtaining worldwide rights for interferon gamma-1b solidifies our continued investment in the medicine, and pending the outcome of clinical studies investigating it in Friedreich’s ataxia and advanced solid tumors, such as kidney and bladder cancer, strengthens our ability to expand its potential global use,” said Timothy P. Walbert, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Horizon Pharma plc.

Germany based Boehringer IngelheimBoehringer Ingelheim has been commercializing interferon gamma-1b under trade names Imukin. Horizon Pharma already owns the rights to this drug in the US, Canada and Japan and is marketed by Horizon Pharma in these countries under the trade name of Actimmune.


Actimmune was added to the Horizon Pharma’s orphan drug portfolio after acquisition of Vidara Therapeutics in September 2014. Actimmune is US FDA approved to control the symptoms of severe infections associated with Chronic Granulomatous Disease, a genetic disorder that affects the functioning of some immune cells. It is also approved for the use in Severe Malignant Osteoporosis.

Actimmune has however shown some side effects including flu like symptoms such as fever, headache, chills, myalgia or fatigue which may however decrease in severity as the treatment continues.

According to a release by Horizon Pharma earlier this month, Actimmune is being evaluated for use in patients with Friedreich’s ataxia, which is an autosomal recessive inherited disease that damages the nervous system progressively, for which it has licensed U.S., European, and Canadian intellectual property rights. This evaluation had already completed the enrollment of 90 patients for a Phase III STEADFAST trial, the top line results of which are expected by the end of this year. Actimmune is, however, not yet approved for use in treatment of Friedreich’s ataxia.

Horizon Pharma is about to begin the examinations related to commercial activities, manufacturing and regulatory activities for Actimmune.

Featured image credit: Three targets © Olivier Le Moal (Stock Photo ID: 91387802)

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