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ICR sells portion of its projected abiraterone royalties

Abiraterone (photo: Jan Chlebik)

Abiraterone (photo: Jan Chlebik)

The Institute of Cancer Research, London, has sold a portion of its royalty entitlement for the prostate cancer drug abiraterone for an undisclosed sum.

The sale, to Drug Royalty III, a private equity fund managed by DRI Capital, will give the ICR access to funds that would have been expected to accrue over several years. It will allow the ICR to invest in its research and state-of-the-art facilities, and to plan its finances with greater certainty.

The ICR will also receive a milestone payment if certain conditions are met.

Abiraterone was discovered at the ICR and taken to market by BTG plc and Johnson & Johnson. It is marketed globally by Johnson & Johnson as Zytiga and has become standard treatment for advanced prostate cancer, benefiting hundreds of thousands of men worldwide.

The ICR receives a proportion of the royalties from abiraterone in recognition of its discovery of the drug, and invests the money back into its research.

Professor Paul Workman, Chief Executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said: “This arrangement effectively gives the ICR advanced access to royalties we were expecting over the coming years through the discovery of abiraterone, allowing us to invest the money in our research and facilities. We also benefit by reducing the level of risk associated with this major income stream, giving us enhanced confidence in our financial planning.”

Craig Shepherd, a Managing Director with DRI, said: “Through a unique structure, our fund Drug Royalty III has acquired a portion of the ICR’s royalty entitlement relating to sales of abiraterone, a revolutionary prostate cancer drug. DRI has been a global leader in working creatively with academic pharmaceutical royalty recipients and this important deal with the team at the ICR reinforces that. It’s satisfying to know the proceeds of this transaction will be used by the ICR to help fund new innovation in cancer research.”


abiraterone prostate cancer
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