Kyowa sells U.S. rights to cancer drug delivery patch to Cumberland

Kyowa Kirin has sold its FDA-approved oncology patch to Cumberland Pharmaceuticals. The deal will give Cumberland the U.S. rights to Sancuso, a product that delivers a drug through the skin to stop nausea, in return for $13.5 million upfront plus milestones and royalties.

ProStrakan, which Kyowa acquired in 2011, won FDA approval for Sancuso in 2008. The approval made Sancuso the first patch capable of giving patients on moderate to high nausea-inducing chemotherapy regimens up to five consecutive days of symptom control. However, Sancuso is a small product, with U.S. sales in 2020 coming in at $14 million.  

Responsibility for increasing that figure will now fall on Cumberland, which is bagging the rights in return for the upfront fee, up to $3.5 million in milestones and tiered royalties of up to 10% on U.S. net product sales.

Cumberland will take full responsibility for Sancuso marketing, promotion, distribution, manufacturing and medical support activities in the U.S. Kyowa Kirin is keeping hold of the international rights to the drug. A.J. Kazimi, CEO at Cumberland, set out the opportunity open to Sancuso.

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“In 2020 there were nearly two million new cases of cancer in the U.S. and each year over half a million Americans undergo chemotherapy, with many suffering from the side effects of their treatment. With Sancuso, patients are given a simple, easy-to-apply preventative solution that doesn't require swallowing any pills—which can be difficult for patients experiencing nausea,” Kazimi said in a statement.

Sancuso slots into a portfolio that now features eight FDA-approved brands. The portfolio generated sales of $27.7 million over the first nine months of the year, suggesting Sancuso can have a notable impact on Cumberland’s revenues.