Pfizer close to deal for Protalix drug in Brazil

Pfizer acquired the marketing rights to Protalix's Gaucher's disease treatment Uplyso in December.

Brazil's Minister of Health José Gomes Temporão has told local papers in Brazil that the government is close to signing a deal with drug giant Pfizer to market Gaucher's disease treatment Uplyso.

Pfizer acquired the marketing rights to Uplyso from Israeli company Protalix Biotherapeutics Inc. (AMEX:PLX) in December.

Temorao spoke of a giant $730 million deal. Protalix declined to respond to the news or discuss the amount mentioned, but a quick calculation shows that the amount refers to the potential multi-year value.

Brazil has about 600 Gaucher's disease patients. Treatment for each Gaucher's disease patient costs several hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Gaucher's treatment in Brazil is through the government's health basket, so it is likely that if a contract like this is signed, it will turn Uplyso into the primary Gaucher's disease drug in the country. The price is likely to be slightly lower, owing to the bargaining power of such a central customer.

Nonetheless, it is possible to estimate the potential at $100-200 million per year. Under its agreement with Pfizer, Protalix is entitled to 40% of the revenue from sales of Uplyso.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on October 3, 2010

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010

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