QLT Inc. announced today that QLT USA, Inc., its wholly-owned subsidiary, has entered into an exclusive license agreement with Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc. for its Atrigel® sustained-release drug delivery technology, except for certain rights being retained by QLT USA and its prior licensees.
The Atrigel® drug delivery system consists of biodegradable polymers dissolved in biocompatible carriers. Under the terms of the license agreement and related asset purchase agreement, QLT USA received an aggregate upfront payment of US$25 million and may receive potential milestone payments of up to US$5 million based on the successful development of two Atrigel-formulated products. As part of the transaction, Reckitt acquired 18 employees from QLT USA and will take over its corporate facility located in Fort Collins, Colorado.
We are extremely excited to announce this transaction for our third non-core asset, Atrigel. This licensing deal will bring our total proceeds from our announced non-core asset transactions to approximately US$240 million," said Bob Butchofsky, President and Chief Executive Officer of QLT. "We have worked diligently towards streamlining the Company and believe we are close to reaching this goal. Eligard, our leuprolide acetate for injectable suspension for the palliative treatment of advanced prostate cancer, is our remaining non-core asset which we hope to divest in the near future."
Pharmaceuticals may be blended into this liquid delivery system at the time of manufacturing or, depending upon the product, may be added later by the physician at the time of use. When the liquid product is injected into the subcutaneous space through a small gauge needle or placed into accessible tissue sites through a cannula, water in the tissue fluids causes the polymer to precipitate and trap the drug in a solid implant. The drug encapsulated within the implant is then released in a controlled manner as the polymer matrix biodegrades with time.