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India's Aurobindo snaps up 7 cancer medicines in US for $160M

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc. agreed to sell a portfolio of seven cancer medicines to India's Aurobindo Pharma Ltd. for an upfront payment of $160 million.

The medicines are already approved in the U.S. and generated $76.4 million in revenue during the first nine months of 2018, according to Spectrum, which will also receive up to an additional $140 million if the drugs achieve certain milestones.

The drugs in the sale are Fusilev, or levoleucovorin; Folotyn, or pralatrexate; Zevalin, or ibritumomab tiuxetan; Marqibo, or vinCRIStine sulfate liposome; Beleodaq, or belinostat; Evomela, or melphalan; and Khapzory, or levoleucovorin.

The sale will help Spectrum raise money to advance two late-stage drugs but also result in the company decreasing its headcount by 40%, with the majority of impacted staff transitioning to Aurobindo's U.S. subsidiary. Spectrum, which was founded in 1987, employs 215 individuals, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals President and CEO Joe Turgeon said the company will retain employees from its sales force for the launch of Rolontis, also known as eflapegrastim, and poziotinib.

The transaction is approved by the board members of both companies and is expected to close within 90 days, subject to regulatory approvals.

Jefferies LLC and Paul Hastings LLP are advising Spectrum Pharmaceuticals in this transaction.