09 September 2002
For Immediate Release September 9, 2002
SKYEPHARMA AND MEDITECH ANNOUNCE
SOLARASE MARKETING AGREEMENT
LONDON, UK & MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA, September 9, 2002 -- SkyePharma PLC (LSE:
SKP; Nasdaq: SKYE) and Meditech Research Limited (ASX: MTR) today announced a
reciprocal licensing agreement concerning Solarase, a topical therapy for the
pre-cancerous skin condition, actinic or solar keratosis, in certain Pacific Rim
territories. Solarase is approved by regulatory authorities in North America and
Europe. It is already marketed under licenses from SkyePharma by Shire
Pharmaceuticals in five European countries, including the UK, Germany and
Sweden, and in the US by Quintiles Transnational Inc.
SkyePharma acquired rights to Solarase in 1999 from the administrators of Hyal
Pharmaceuticals (Hyal), excluding those relating to certain Pacific Rim
territories owned by Meditech under a pre-existing agreement with Hyal. Under
the new agreement announced today, SkyePharma re-acquires these territorial
rights to the product Solarase from Meditech in return for an upfront payment, a
milestone on eventual product registration in Australia or New Zealand, and a
royalty on sales.
SkyePharma gains the exclusive right to manufacture and market or sublicense
Solarase in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia whilst Meditech
obtains equivalent rights in new territories; China, Taiwan, Indonesia and the
Philippines, countries which were not included under the previous agreement.
Each company will receive an identical royalty on sales made by the other
company in their allocated territory.
Michael Ashton, Chief Executive Officer of SkyePharma, commented, 'Australia is
the world's second largest skin cancer market after the US. We estimate that the
incidence of actinic keratosis, a pre-cancerous condition associated with over
exposure to the sun, is in the region of 20% of the population so this is an
important market for us. Solarase treatment has demonstrated complete or
significant global improvement in nearly 80% of patients. We will conduct an
additional clinical study in Australia before pursuing rapid product
registration using our clinical and regulatory expertise whilst seeking a
commercialisation partner to maximise market penetration.'
Meditech's Chief Executive Officer, Mr Chris Carter, noted; 'These arrangements
provide Meditech with much greater prospects for early realisation of
significant royalties on SkyePharma's sales of Solarase. By acquiring rights to
secure commercial agreements in China, Taiwan, Indonesia and the Philippines,
Meditech can take advantage of its working relationships with Asian companies to
access the market potential of these enormous populations.'
For further information please contact:
Michael Ashton, Chief Executive Officer +44 (0) 207 491 1777
Valerie Tate, Head of Investor Relations +44 (0) 207 491 1777
Sandra Haughton, US Investor Relations +1 (212) 753 5780
(Tim Anderson / Nicola How) +44 (0) 207 466 5000
Chris Carter, Chief Executive Officer +61 3 9296 2026
Dr Tracey Brown, Director of Research &
Development +61 3 9905 3760
Notes to Editors
SkyePharma PLC uses its world-leading drug delivery technology to develop
easier-to-use and more effective formulations of drugs. The majority of
challenges faced in the formulation and delivery of drugs can be addressed by
one of the Company's proprietary technologies in the areas of oral, injectable,
inhaled and topical delivery, supported by enhanced solubilisation capabilities.
For more information, visit www.skyepharma.com.
Meditech specialises in research and development of carbohydrate technologies to
preferentially deliver therapeutic compounds to disease targets and enhance
cellular uptake whilst reducing or eliminating systemic involvement and
consequent unwanted side effects. Earlier in the year, the Company obtained
very encouraging results from two Phase I trials of its HyACT technology
formulated with widely used anticancer products. http://www.mrl.com.au or
This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange SFFWASESEFU