Mapi Pharma, whose leading product is a generic delayed release competitor of Copaxone, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.'s (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) flagship drug for treatment of multiple sclerosis, completed a $10 million financing round from Zhejiang Jingxin Pharmaceutical, a Chinese company focusing on products for treatment of neurological diseases, coronary health problems, and the digestive tract. The Chinese company was already a shareholder in Mapi, after investing $10 million in the company in 2016.
Mapi was founded by chairperson and CEO Dr. Ehud Maron, previously a senior executive on the development team for Copaxone. Mapi's product can be administered once a month, compared with twice a week for Teva's drug. Mapi has signed a cooperation agreement with Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Teva's leading competitor, which has launched its own competing generic version of Copaxone.
Mylan invested $20 million in Mapi in April 2018, with an option to invest $20 million more, and also obtained marketing rights to the product. If and when the product reaches the market, it could give Mylan a competitive advantage over Teva. Mapi's product is in Phase III clinical trials, while the Phase II results appear to justify marketing the product in competition with Copaxone.
Teva's revenue from Copaxone totaled $463 million in the third quarter, down 44%, compared with the corresponding quarter last year, as a result of the introduction of a generic competitor. Copaxone accounted for 10% of Teva's revenue during the quarter.
Mapi is earmarking the money from its new financing round for development of two new products: one for treatment of schizophrenia and one for treatment of pain. The company previously tried to hold an IPO on Nasdaq, but missed the window of opportunity, and did not return to this plan after Mylan's investment.
Marom said, "Mapi Pharma developed a model for cooperation with Chinese companies that leverages the capabilities of both sides. Zhejiang Jingxin's investment is part of a products development agreement, and Mapi will provide Zhejiang Jingxin with support for registration, production, and marketing of the product in the Chinese market. Mapi will continue developing another exclusive product for Zhejiang Jingxin for the Chinese market, and will hold the intellectual property and marketing rights for the new product in the global market."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 5, 2018
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