Navidea Biopharmaceuticals Inc. has licensed its radioactive cancer diagnostic aid Lymphoseek to a Chinese pharmaceutical company that will have exclusive rights bring the drug to market in China.
The deal announced Thursday with a subsidiary of Hainan Sinotau Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. is part of Navidea’s strategy to quickly gain revenue from its intellectual property without sinking more into development expenses. Lymphoseek is the Dublin pharmaceutical company’s first drug approved for sale.
Under the agreement, Sinotau takes on the expense of conducting clinical trials to seek regulatory approval of the drug in China, then takes on sales and marketing in the territory, but excluding Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
Navidea President Thomas Tulip said in a statement that 12-year-old Sinotau has successfully brought more than 20 drugs to market and has an established sales network. The company does not appear to have an English-language website.
Navidea gets $300,000 now plus up to $2.5 million in payments as the drug hits regulatory milestones, and then sales of raw product to Sinotau plus royalties if it is approved for sale.
Lymphoseek is used in cancer surgery to find the lymph nodes that directly drain fluid from a tumor site to test if cancer has spread. The procedure greatly reduces the number of lymph nodes that need to be removed for testing. It is currently approved for use in breast cancer, melanoma and certain oral cancers.
Based on U.S. sales through the first half of the year, Navidea projects its 2014 Lymphoseek revenue will be $5 million to $6 million, its share of a 50-50 split with exclusive US distributor Cardinal Health Inc.