Kyowa Kirin divests mature brands to Grünenthal

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

© Choreograph / Getty Images
© Choreograph / Getty Images

Related tags Kyowa Kirin Grünenthal Joint venture

The two companies will initially form a joint venture collaboration to market the products, before Grünenthal assumes full control.

The joint venture between the two companies sees Grünenthal pay approximately €80m ($83m), plus royalties, over the term of the collaboration.

In return, the German company will acquire a 51% majority share in the new joint venture company, while Kyowa takes the remaining share and retains the IP related to the portfolio, for the initial period.

According to the companies, Grünenthal intends to purchase the remaining 49% share and the IP relating to the products at the beginning of 2026.

The portfolio of products that Grünenthal is gaining access to includes 13 different brands, which treat conditions across six different therapeutic areas.

The principal therapeutic focus for the portfolio is within pain management. For Grünenthal, the deal makes sense as it expands its existing portfolio that has a strong focus on painkilling, including treatments such as capsaicin, lidocaine, and zlmitriptan.

The joint venture will count Abstral (fentanyl sublingual tablets) and PecFent (fentanyl nasal spray) for breakthrough cancer pain, Moventig (naloxegol) for opioid-induced constipation, and Adcal-D3 (calcium and vitamin D3) for osteoporosis, among its products.

Gabriel Baertsch, CEO of Grünenthal, also stated that the ‘geographic footprint’ matched well with the company’s European presence. Kyowa Kirin outlined that the products are marketed in seven major European markets, as well as through additional partners in further territories worldwide.

For Kyowa Kirin’s part, Abdul Mullick, president of Kyowa Kirin International said, “Our search for a partner included three key priorities: a team who shares our commitment to patients and to our employees, a partner who is looking to support our growth agenda, and a company with which we can establish a close, collaborative partnership that promises benefits for all our stakeholders while operating at the highest ethical standards.”

During 2021, the products brought in €200m in revenue for Kyowa Kirin. The deal to create the joint venture is still subject to approval and clearance. The partners noted that they expect the deal to be completed in the second quarter of 2023.

However, Kyowa Kirin is looking elsewhere than its established brands portfolio to drive revenue, as it progresses a large pipeline of potential treatments through development. Most recently, the company announced that its partnership with MEI Pharma had resulted in positive Phase II trial results for zandelisib, a potential treatment for B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

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