Pills are arranged for a photograph at a pharmacy in Princeton, Illinois, U.S. (Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

Sun Pharma’s European Partner Gets Approval For Psoriasis Drug

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. announced that Spanish company Almirall has received the European Commission’s approval for Ilumetri for the treatment of moderate-to-severe cases of skin condition plaque psoriasis in adults, who are also candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy.

This will allow India’s largest drugmaker to launch the medication, commonly known as tildrakizumab, in member countries of the European Union. Almirall will roll out the drug in Europe in the in the next few weeks, an exchange notification said.

In July 2016, Sun Pharma out-licensed the specialty drug to Almirall for developing and commercialising in Europe. Almirall, according to the agreement, was to pay an upfront fee of $50 million to Sun Pharma, along with milestone payments and royalties on net sales in lieu of EU sales rights. It, however, didn’t disclose any further details of the royalty arrangement.

Sun Pharma, in September 2014, had acquired worldwide rights to the drug from Merck for an upfront cost of $80 million. It received the U.S. Food and Drug’s Administration approval in March 2018. Sun Pharma’s product differs from others in terms of the frequency of dosage.

EU sales are expected to be 40-50 percent of that of U.S, according to Sameer Baisiwala, analyst at Morgan Stanley. “Sun Pharma should get double-digit royalty income from this.” Almirall’s management, Baisiwala said, expects peak sales of around 200 million euros from this drug in the EU.

Surajit Pal of Prabhudas Lilladher expects Sun Pharma to achieve annual sales of $80-100 million in two to three years. But the success of the drug, he said, may be challenging in the EU due to the highly competitive market for plaque psoriasis. “Upcoming new molecules of competitors and success of marking and promotion among doctors and end-consumers are the key parameters that will decide the success of the drug.”

Also read: Sun Pharma Gets Six Observations From U.S. FDA For Halol Plant