MONTREAL, QUEBEC–(Marketwired – Sept. 2, 2014) – Knight Therapeutics Inc. (TSX:GUD) (“Knight”), a leading Canadian specialty pharmaceutical company, announced today that it has entered into an asset purchase agreement with Orphan Canada Inc. (“Orphan”) related to the Canadian rights for ATryn® and PHOTOFRIN® (porfimer sodium), two innovative pharmaceutical products approved for sale in multiple jurisdictions. Orphan is a privately-held, Toronto-based specialty pharmaceutical company that in-licenses therapies for rare disorders and specialty medicines for the Canadian market.
As part of the agreement, Jason Flowerday and Joost van der Mark, the founders of Orphan, will join the Knight leadership team; Jason as the Vice President Commercial Operations and Joost as Vice President Corporate Development. “Joost and I are excited to bring our combined experience of 40 years in the pharmaceutical industry to Knight.” said Jason Flowerday, Chief Commercial Officer of Orphan. “We are proud of this agreement which marks the beginning of a relationship with Knight where we will work together to bring innovative products to the Canadian market.”
Also in connection with the agreement, Bourne Partners (“Bourne”), a leading healthcare-focused merchant banking firm and co-founders of Orphan Canada with Jason and Joost, has been engaged by Knight to assist with its corporate development efforts. “We are pleased to assist Knight in its quest to become Canada's leading specialty pharmaceutical company,” said Banks Bourne, CEO of Bourne Partners.
When commenting on the overall agreement, Jonathan Ross Goodman, CEO of Knight, stated, “With this transaction, Knight has established its first product offering in Canada, significantly increased the size and experience of its leadership team, and expanded its business development reach.”
About Orphan Canada
Orphan Canada is a specialty pharmaceutical company that is committed to commercializing therapies for genetic and rare diseases within the Canadian marketplace. Orphan Canada provides research-based companies and licensors with a commercial partner that is uniquely positioned to deliver value to all stakeholders. Orphan Canada was co-founded by seasoned industry executives, Joost van der Mark and Jason Flowerday along with the healthcare focused merchant banking firm, Bourne Partners.
Photodynamic therapy with PHOTOFRIN® is a two-stage process requiring administration of both drug and light. The first stage of PDT is the intravenous injection of PHOTOFRIN®. The second stage of therapy uses illumination with nonburning laser light 40-50 hours following injection with PHOTOFRIN®. When injected, PHOTOFRIN® is attracted to certain tissues, especially cancer cells. Tumor destruction results from biochemical reactions, not heat. Tumor selectivity occurs through a combination of preferential retention of PHOTOFRIN® by the tumor and selective delivery of light to the tumor site. PHOTOFRIN® is indicated for the treatment of esophageal cancer, non-small-cell lung cancer and high-grade dysplasia in Barrett's esophagus in both the U.S. and Canada. PHOTOFRIN® was granted orphan drug designation (ODD) by the FDA in October 2001 for the ablation of High-Grade Dysplasia in Barrett's Esophagus in patients who are not considered to be candidates for esophagectomy, in November 2004 for cholangiocarcinoma (CCA), a rare cancer in the bile ducts that carry bile from the liver to the small intestine, and in December 2011, as adjuvant therapy to surgery for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma.
ATryn® is a recombinant antithrombin indicated for the prevention of peri-operative and peri-partum thromboembolic events in hereditary antithrombin deficient patients. It is not indicated for treatment of thromboembolic events in hereditary antithrombin deficient patients. ATryn® received FDA approval in 2009 and marketing authorization by the European Commission prior to that in 2006. ATryn® will be submitted shortly for approval to Health Canada.
About Jason Flowerday
Jason Flowerday is a respected healthcare executive and entrepreneur with two decades of experience in the pharma/biotech and marketing services industries. Jason, along with his business partner, Joost van der Mark, founded Orphan Canada in 2010 (formerly GARD Therapeutics). Prior to Orphan Canada, Jason established RxMedia Healthcare Communications in 2006, leading the company through a six-year period of sustained growth and expansion. Jason successfully sold RxMedia in 2012. From 1995 to 2005, Jason held a succession of commercial positions at Bayer Healthcare that culminated in Jason serving as the Director of Marketing for Bayer's Anti-Infectives portfolio. Following ten rewarding years at Bayer, Jason joined Ortho Biotech where he led the Nephrology Business unit as the Marketing Director for two years. Jason holds an Honours B.Sc. from the University of Toronto and an M.B.A. from Queen's School of Business.
About Joost van der Mark
Joost van der Mark is a seasoned healthcare executive with over two decades of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. Prior to founding Orphan Canada, Joost was the VP of Business Development at Nycomed Canada (now Takeda Canada) with responsibility to lead the organization's business development initiative. Prior to joining Nycomed, Joost worked for Sanofi-Pasteur, where he successfully developed market access strategies, liaison with PMPRB and led the business development efforts. Joost started his career with Bayer HealthCare, progressing through various roles in clinical and commercial. Joost holds a M.Sc. in Physiology and Pharmacology from the University of Western Ontario and an M.B.A. from Schulich School of Business.
About Bourne Partners
Headquartered in Charlotte, NC, Bourne Partners is a financial advisory, investment and consulting firm founded in 2001 that focuses solely on fulfilling the unique needs of established, middle-market healthcare and pharmaceutical companies across the globe. Originally founded as a pharmaceutical investment firm, Bourne Partners has evolved its service offerings in an effort to form enduring relationships with the healthcare and consumer companies it chooses to serve. For more information about Bourne Partners, please visit the company's website at www.bourne-partners.com.
About Knight Therapeutics Inc.
Knight Therapeutics Inc., headquartered in Montreal, Canada, is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on acquiring or in-licensing innovative pharmaceutical products for the Canadian and world markets. Knight Therapeutics' shares began trading on the TSX-V on March 3, 2014 and graduated to the TSX on April 29, 2014 under the symbol GUD. For more information about Knight Therapeutics Inc., please visit the company's web site at www.gud-knight.com or at www.sedar.com.
Knight Therapeutics Forward-Looking Statement
This press release may contain forward-looking statements and predictions. These forward-looking statements, by their nature, necessarily involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. The company considers the assumptions on which these forward-looking statements are based to be reasonable at the time they were prepared, but cautions that these assumptions regarding the future events, many of which are beyond the control of the company and its subsidiaries, may ultimately prove to be incorrect. Factors and risks, which could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations, are discussed in the company's final application for listing on the TSX Venture Exchange and in two short form prospectuses which can be found on SEDAR at www.sedar.com, which investors should consult for additional information. The company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information or future events and except as required by law.