Plexxikon, Daiichi Sankyo complete potential $935M deal

News | 04. 04. 2011


Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd. completed its acquisition of Plexxikon Inc.    , giving shareholders $805 million upfront with the possibility of near-term milestone payments of another $130 million on Plexxikon’s potential melanoma drug.

Plexxikon will retain its name, employees and Berkeley facilities, and it will continue research and development operations as an independent unit of Tokyo-based Daiichi Sankyo.

The deal was announced in late February.

Plexxikon’s lead drug is PLX-4032, or vemurafenib, that targets a specific mutation present in about half of melanoma cancers and about 8 percent of all solid tumors. Clinical trials of the drug, which is in a Phase III trial, have garnered a lot of attention because of their strong results and a collaboration with Pleasanton’s Roche Molecular Diagnostics, which has developed a test to help identify patients with the specific mutation.

Plexxikon and its development partner, Swiss drug maker Roche, plan to file this year for market approval in the United States and Europe.

Plexxikon also has a potential Hodgkin lymphoma drug, PLX-3397, in a Phase II trial and expects to start Phase II trials of the drug this year in acute myeloid leukemia, the brain cancer glioblastoma and metastatic breast cancer. It also has started a Phase I trial of PLX-5622, a possible treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.