Deep Into Bankruptcy Proceedings, Clovis Sells Cancer Med Rubraca

by Reed Slater
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After filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2022, Clovis Oncology recently announced its plan to sell prostate and ovarian cancer therapy, Rubraca. The Swiss company Pharma& Schweiz GmbH snagged the highest bid at $70 million plus milestones.

Taking Over Rubraca

Approved under the FDA’s accelerated approval program in December 2016 to treat advanced ovarian cancer, Rubraca showed promise, gaining two regular approvals in ovarian and prostate cancer. Despite its promise, Clovis blamed most of its financial woes on Rubraca’s lack of success, particularly during the pandemic. 

With bankruptcy in the rearview, Clovis is working hard and fast to move on and close up shop for good with the sale of Rubraca. After leaving the drug open to bidders worldwide, Pharma& Schweiz GmbH gets to take Rubraca home following customary closing agreements.

In addition to the $70 million upfront, Pharma& Schweiz GmbH agreed to an additional $50 million if Rubraca achieves certain milestones and an extra $15 million in sales-related milestones. 

Clovis outlined the milestone payment structure in its most recent SEC filing outlining the transaction. The highest-paid milestone is the potential approval of Rubraca for first-line maintenance treatment of certain patients with advanced ovarian cancer. That approval could bring Clovis $20 million. The same approval from the EMA could bring the company $10 million. Additional approvals for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer from the FDA or the EMA would also net $10 million each. 

If the deal falls through for any reason, Clovis’ backup bidder is Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories out of India.

Related Article: Clovis Offloads Cancer Candidate to Novartis, Day After Declaring Bankruptcy

Moving on After Bankruptcy

Before selling Rubraca to Pharma& Schweiz GmbH, Clovis sold a clinical-stage asset to Novartis for $50 million upfront. Clovis has spent several years developing the drug, FAP-2286, to treat various types of solid tumors. The announcement came just a day after the company declared bankruptcy. 

With its two biggest assets off its chest, Clovis is in a position to move on and start closing up shop. It had a good run, and the company’s hard work will not go to waste, especially with the recent sale of Rubraca for $70 million.

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