Initially incorporated in 1986 under the name Protein Design Labs, Inc, PDL BioPharma (PDL) is a Delaware corporation that pioneered the humanization of monoclonal antibodies. A significant portion of PDL’s annual revenues is derived from the royalty payments it receives from its proprietary antibody humanization technology.
- Genentech/Roche: Antibody products include Avastin® for the treatment of several different types of cancers (including colon cancer) and Herceptin® for the treatment of breast cancer. Herceptin® and Avastin® are both first-in-class drugs used for the treatment of breast cancer and colon cancer respectively. Two other products marketed by Genentech/Roche include Lucentis®, which is used to treat age-related macular degeneration, and Xolair®, which is used for the treatment of moderate to severe persistent allergic asthma. Genentech is part of the Roche group of companies.
- Elan/Biogen Idec: Tysabri® is used in adult patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) to slow the worsening of disability that is common in patients with MS and decrease the number of flare-ups (relapses). Tysabri® was launched for MS in late 2004 and then withdrawn from the market in early 2005 due to safety concerns. Tysabri® was re-introduced to the market for MS in June 2006 with revised labeling, greater safety warnings, and a risk management plan entitled TOUCH.
In 2008, PDL changed its strategic focus. In August 2007, PDL announced its intention to sell its commercial and cardiovascular operating segments. IV Busulfex® product-related assets were sold to Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. for $200 million in cash while Cardene®, Retavase® and ularitide product-related assets were sold separately to EKR Therapeutics, Inc. for an upfront payment of $85 million, with up to an additional $85 million in development and royalties on certain future product sales. Both transactions were completed in March 2008. Also in March 2008, PDLI and GMN, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Genmab concluded the sale of a Minnesota manufacturing facility and related operations for total cash proceeds of $240 million. As a result of these transactions, PDLI paid a special cash dividend of $4.25 per share in May 2008.
In December 2008, PDL transferred its remaining research and development operations to its wholly owned subsidiary, Facet Biotech (Facet). After capitalizing Facet with $405 million, PDL spun-off the subsidiary on December 18, 2008 to its shareholders as a stock dividend of one share of Facet for every five shares of PDL. Since that time, PDL has not had any financial ownership in Facet.