Savient sells $125M in notes to launch Krystexxa

Savient Pharma has decided how to fund its launch of the new gout treatment Krystexxa. The company will sell $125 million in convertible senior notes, plus up to $18.75 million more if demand is strong. The company won FDA approval for the drug in September, but its plans to immediately sell itself to the highest bidder apparently didn't yield bids that were high enough.

Savient has faced its share of other obstacles on the road to commercializing Krystexxa. Most recently, the company announced some batch failures at its contract manufacturer in Israel and at Merck Biomanufacturing Network, which it's hoping to bring on as a secondary CMO. At the time, Savient said the failure rate was higher than it considered acceptable, and so it was working to fix those problems.

The company tapped Eli Lilly veteran John Johnson as CEO soon after the manufacturing announcement. Now, with the note sale, Savient appears poised to launch in the U.S., an endeavor that will including hiring up on the sales side. Plus, the company said it plans to use the money to commercialize the drug in Europe and to seek a label expansion in the U.S.

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