Mylan buys rights to Israel-developed Multiple Sclerosis treatment

MS drug developed by Mapi Pharma requires a once-monthly injection instead of 3 times a week

An illustrative photo of a patient receiving an injection. (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90/File)
An illustrative photo of a patient receiving an injection. (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90/File)

US drug company Mylan N.V. announced Tuesday it would acquire the international marketing rights to a once-monthly treatment for Multiple Sclerosis developed by an Israel’s Mapi Pharma.

Glatiramer Acetate Depot is a long-acting drug designed to replace daily injections with a once-a-month alternative for people suffering from relapsing-remitting MS.

Relapsing-remitting MS, or RRMS, accounts for 85 percent of all initial diagnoses of the disease, the companies said.

Mylan already sells a generic version of Teva Pharmaceuticals’ widely-used MS treatment, Copaxone. But, if GA Depot successfully completes its Phase III clinical trials, it will be formidable competition to both Copaxone and Mylan’s generic version.

Copaxone, the only non-interferon multiple sclerosis treatment, was developed by Teva Pharmaceuticals in the mid-1990s. (Weizmann Institute of Science/JTA)

Mapi chairman and CEO Ehud Marom said his company’s drug would ease treatment for MS patients by reducing the number of injections they have to take.

“GA Depot is expected to significantly improve the mode of treatment for patients with MS by reducing the number of injections, easing the treatment burden and increasing patient compliance,” Marom said according to the business daily Globes. “We look forward to working with Mylan to bring this important drug to MS patients.”

In a statement, Mylan president Rajiv Malik hailed GA Depot as an “important and welcomed treatment option,” that the company would add to its “already-strong portfolio of central nervous system products.”

The companies did not disclose how much Mylan was investing in Mapi, but the Haaretz daily put the figure at $20 million.

The partnership is subject to approval by the Israel Innovation Authority.

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