SERB Pharmaceuticals and SFJ Pharmaceuticals announce a U.S. partnership for bentracimab, a ticagrelor reversal agent

PHILADELPHIA and SAN FRANCISCO, 11 May 2023: SERB Pharmaceuticals, a global specialty pharmaceutical company, and SFJ Pharmaceuticals, a global drug development company, announce that SERB has acquired exclusive US rights to the ticagrelor reversal agent bentracimab from SFJ.

Bentracimab is a novel, monoclonal antibody fragment designed to reverse the antiplatelet activity of ticagrelor. Ticagrelor, marketed by AstraZeneca as Brilinta®, is a reversible oral P2Y12 platelet inhibitor for patients who have suffered a heart attack or stroke, or who have acute coronary syndromes or coronary artery disease (CAD). Bentracimab, if approved by the FDA, could allow these patients to benefit from the antithrombotic effect of ticagrelor, preventing vascular events and reducing risk of death, while giving physicians a way to control bleeding in rare emergency situations such as surgery or a major bleeding event.

SFJ will remain responsible for the ongoing clinical trials of bentracimab and will work in collaboration with SERB to submit the Biologics License Application (BLA) to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which they expect to file later this year. 

Jeremie Urbain, Executive Chairman of SERB Pharmaceuticals, said: “The acquisition of bentracimab marks a significant step in our strategy to grow through investment in innovative, biologic products for critical care conditions and leverages our existing commercial and technical capabilities. We’re excited to partner with SFJ, recognized leaders in late-stage drug development, to bring this life-saving medicine to healthcare professionals and the patients they treat.”

Robert DeBenedetto, Chief Executive Officer of SFJ, said: “We are pleased to partner with Jeremie and the entire SERB team on this important step to help advance bentracimab to patients. Bentracimab has recognized potential benefits and we have confidence that SFJ in collaboration with SERB will be able to expeditiously and efficiently see bentracimab through the approvals process by the US FDA.”

Bentracimab binds ticagrelor and its major active metabolite with high affinity and specificity. A prespecified interim analysis of the ongoing Phase 3 trial REVERSE-IT published in the New England Journal of Medicine Evidence demonstrated that bentracimab immediately and sustainably reversed the antiplatelet effects of ticagrelor, and was generally well tolerated, with only minor adverse events reported. In 2019 bentracimab received Breakthrough Therapy Designation from the FDA, a process designed to expedite the development and review of drugs which may demonstrate substantial improvement over available therapy.

The companies did not disclose specific financial terms. Leopoldo Zambeletti acted as advisor for SFJ, and Evercore acted as advisor for SERB.

About SERB Pharmaceuticals

SERB is a global specialty pharmaceutical company with a growing portfolio of medicines for emergency care and rare diseases. For over 30 years we have made treating these complex and life-threatening conditions possible, supporting clinicians, healthcare systems and governments while offering hope to patients and their families. SERB has the broadest antidote portfolio in the world, including medical countermeasures for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) risks. As a fully integrated company, we have the experience and capabilities to acquire, develop, and manufacture our medicines to the highest standards, and make them available worldwide through our secure supply chain. SERB operates in the US as BTG Pharmaceuticals.
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About SFJ Pharmaceuticals®

SFJ is a global drug development company, which provides a unique and highly customized clinical development partnering model for the world’s top pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. SFJ provides at-risk funding and the global clinical development management and oversight necessary for regulatory submission for some of the most promising drug development programs of Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology companies. SFJ’s mission is to leverage its financial strength and global team of pharmaceutical development experts to accelerate the development of life-saving and life-enhancing drugs for the benefit of physicians and the patients they serve.

For further information contact:

SERB Pharmaceuticals: Chris Sampson, Corporate Communications Director; Tel: +44 (0)7773 251 178

SFJ Pharmaceuticals: Jonathan DeBenedetto; Tel: +1-925-223-6233  

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