By Kristin Jones
Protalix BioTherapeutics Inc. (PLX) has received a $25 million milestone payment from Pfizer Inc. (PFE) after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its new drug for the treatment of Gaucher disease.
On May 1, U.S. regulators approved taliglucerase alfa, sold as Elelyso, for the treatment of type 1 Gaucher disease, a genetic disorder that can cause enlargement of the spleen and liver, as well as lung disease and bone problems.
Pfizer and Protaliz entered an exclusive agreement for the development and commercialization of Elelyso in November 2009. Under the terms of the deal, Pfizer has an exclusive license to sell Elelyso, except in Israel.
Elelyso, an infusion administered by health-care professionals every other week, is the first plant-derived cell-based enzyme replacement. It will compete in the U.S. with the Gaucher-disease treatment Cerezyme, produced by Genzyme, the U.S. biotechnology unit of Sanofi S.A. (SNY, SAN.FR) and Shire PLC's (SHPGY, SHP.LN) Vpriv.
Protalix shares rose 2.4% to $6.85 in premarket trading. The stock is up 36% so far this year.
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