CORANGE INVESTS ANOTHER $45M IN PROTEINDESIGN LABS

By Jim Shrine

Corange Ltd. completed the second of its two-partpurchase of Protein Design Labs Inc.'s (PDL) stock,investing $45 million at $36.50 per share.

The purchase by Hamilton, Bermuda-based Corange of1.23 million PDL shares, in addition to the 1.2 million itpurchased in December 1993, gives Corange a stake ofabout 15 percent in the Mountain View, Calif., company.Corange's total equity investment in PDL now is $75million.

The companies also said they changed terms of their jointproduct and license agreement, one result of which willreduce PDL's potential milestone payments by $68million, from $91 million to $23 million. At the sametime, however, Corange is taking over much of thedevelopment costs of one of the two lead products in thecollaboration. (For more details on the original deal, seeBioWorld Today, Nov. 1, 1993, p. 1 and Dec. 22, 1993,p. 1.)

The companies are redirecting their development effortsto focus on the two products furthest along in clinicaldevelopment _ PDL's human anti-hepatitis B and anti-cytomegalovirus (CMV) antibodies, both of which havecompleted early stage clinical trials. Corange, which hasits head office in London and is the parent company ofBoehringer Mannheim GmbH, also has rights to PDL'sSmart anti-L-selectin product, which is in preclinicaldevelopment, but waived its rights to the SMART anti-CD18 antibody.

"We're assigning each company the lead in clinicaldevelopment and manufacturing for one of the two mostadvanced products, which follows where each companyhas marketing rights" PDL's director, corporatecommunications, Peter Dworkin, told BioWorld.

Corange will assume majority responsibility fordevelopment and manufacturing of the hepatitis-Bproduct. In return, PDL agreed to give up potentialmilestone payments related to the hepatitis B and CMVprograms. PDL also will take the lead on developmentand production of the anti-CMV antibody.

Corange has marketing rights to hepatitis B productsoutside North America, and PDL has marketing rights forCMV products everywhere but Europe. PDL said it willapply research funding from Corange specifically to thetwo programs, and will reimburse Corange up to $10.8million toward Phase II and Phase III studies of thehepatitis B product.

PDL reported $70 million in cash and equivalents at theend of September. It's stock (NASDAQ:PDLI) was down38 cents Monday, closing at $16.38 per share. n

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.

No Comments