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  • © ErAnger via pixabay

    Thrombogenics waves R&D goodbye

    02.09.2014 In the face of declining revenue, Belgian biopharmaceutical company Thrombogenics has decided to spin out its cancer research and development activities.

    The newly created R&D company will be formed in partnership with the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) which will seek external funding. Thrombogenics will have an equity stake in this new venture that will focus on pediatric oncology. This move comes after the Leiden-based company had to take net loss of €23.9m in the first six months of 2014 – just a year earlier, they were able to generate a profit of €54.6m. Thrombogenics has already reduced its staff by 20 percent in medical affairs, market access and pre-clinical research activities in Europe, and it will also close its Irish branch by end of October 2014.

    Behind the financial loss is the poor performance of their lead eye disease drug Jetrea (ocriplasmin), especially in the US. It represents an injectable recombinant microplasmin, a truncated form of the natural human protein plasmin. Earlier this year, Thrombogenics was keeping an eye out for commercialisation partners for Jetrea in the US. However, in June,  the company announced its intention to carry on independently. To implement this "standalone strategy", Thrombogenics moved ahead with several organisational changes to make sure the US market’s potential could be realised. The company aims at achieving profitability in the US by 2016, based on Jetrea sales of around €30m. Outside the US, Swiss partner Alcon continues to commercialise the drug. The Novartis unit Alcon has been in a partnership with Thrombogenics since 2012. "We have adapted our organisational structure so that we are in position to achieve profitability in the US in 2016, [...] and to become overall cash flow positive in 2017. Our longer term target is to achieve overall revenues of €100m by 2019", said CEO Patrik De Haes.


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