Osiris Technolgies, a Columbia-based biotech company, sold its first-to-win-government-approval stem cell drug for up to $100 million.
Osiris will receive $50 million in cash and stocks over the next 6 months from the buyer, Mesoblast Limited, and possibly an additional $50 million if the drug is approved in late-stage clinical trials in the U.S. and Europe, according to a press release.
The main drug in Osiris' lineup of stem-cell treatments bought by Mesoblast is called Prochymal. The drug is used against a disease that attacks bone-marrow transplant recipients, according to Bloomberg.
The biotech community cheered when Prochymal was approved by the Canadian government in May 2012 making it the first therapy made with stem cells to receive approval in the world, according to FireceBiotech.com, a website that covers the biotechnology industry.
At the time, Osiris' CEO Randall Mills told Bloomberg, "This is the first regulatory approval of a stem-cell drug—where the active ingredient of the drug is a stem cell—in the world. It's a huge deal for us and a huge deal for the entire field of stem-cell therapy."
Now the company has another huge deal to celebrate.
"With this transaction, we will focus our business on those areas that are of greatest commercial value to Osiris moving forward," Osiris chairman Peter Friedli said in a statement.
Prochymal is currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, although the FDA has designated it as a Fast Track product, according to a Mesoblast press release. This means the FDA is expediting its review of the truck because it may treat an unmet medical need.
Mesoblast, an Australian firm, also purchased Osiris' portfolio of mesenchymal stem cell intellectual property, including 110 patents and clinical data from over 1,500 patients.
Osiris is based at 7015 Albert Einstein Drive in Columbia.