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BioMarin, La Jolla partner to progress kidney disease treatments


SAN DIEGO Two California drug makers have signed an agreement to develop and commercialize a new drug for treating the kidney inflammation disease lupus nephritis in most of the world.

BioMarin Pharmaceutical and La Jolla Pharmaceutical announced Tuesday that they would partner to develop and commercialize Riquent (abetimus sodium) in all markets except the Asia Pacific region. The drug is in phase 3 clinical trials.

“We are very pleased to become La Jolla Pharmaceutical’s partner for Riquent,” BioMarin CEO Jean-Jacques Bienaime said in a statement. “The development history of Riquent has been long and challenging, but we feel the current study addresses the shortcomings of prior studies and provides the best possible opportunity to demonstrate that Riquent reduces the frequency of renal flares in lupus nephritis patients.”

Under the deal, BioMarin will have a co-exclusive license to develop and commercialize Riquent, and La Jolla will receive up to $289 million in milestones and equity purchases, including a $15 million upfront payment.

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