San Diego Business Journal

Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. Receives Upfront $2M Payment for Granting Distribution Rights

Friday, July 26, 2013

San Diego’s Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. received an upfront payment of $2 million for granting Taiwan-based CY Biotech Company Ltd. exclusive rights to market and distribute its anti-obesity drug, Belviq, in Taiwan.

The agreement is subject to regulatory approval from the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration. Arena will produce Belviq at its manufacturing site in Switzerland, and said it will sell the finished product to CYB.

The company has plans to expand Belviq’s geographic footprint through the Taiwanese distribution channel, Arena President and CEO Jack Lief said in a statement.

CYB was previously part of Taiwanese pharmaceutical company TTY Biopharm Co. Ltd.

“While part of TTY, CYB was the operating group that previously co-marketed the weight loss drug Reductil with Abbott in Taiwan,” Lief said. “We believe CYB is well positioned to bring Belviq to a territory where new weight management pharmacotherapies are needed."

Eight out of the 10 leading causes of death in Taiwan were associated with obesity, and that about 10 percent of total health care spending treats obesity-related problems, according to a report from the Taiwanese government.

Belviq just hit the U.S. market last month, almost a year after its U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval. Shares for the $1.53 billion market cap company closed at $7.01 on July 25.

— Meghana Keshavan