Pharma, BioPharma

KaloBios distancing itself from Martin Shkreli with new drug pricing model

In the wake of its relationship with Martin Shkreli, KaloBios’ new CEO Cameron Durrant “wants to clean up the messy legacy and start afresh,” he said.

drug money high cost of healthcareKaloBios, the drug company that was at death’s door until Turing Pharmaceuticals snapped it up under direction from Martin Shkreli, is making moves to distance itself from its notorious former CEO.

Monoclonal antibody player KaloBios was in the process of winding down operations until last November, when it was snapped up by Shkreli. However, the next month it filed for bankruptcy again and faced delisting. It’s now in the midst of a turnaround, however – making efforts to stay away from any association with the price-gouging exec.

Today, KaloBios’ new CEO Cameron Durrant “wants to clean up the messy legacy and start afresh,” reports Fierce Biotech

Everything at KaloBios, says Durrant, will be “180 degrees different from what has gone before.” Shkreli’s hep C style pricing plan for the Chagas treatment? Gone for good.It’s up to the company, he says, “to lead by example. Pricing is a critical issue right now.”

Indeed, KaloBios is announcing a new product pricing model, particularly for its drug meant to treat Chagas disease.

“Our new pricing model is a commitment to define and develop transparent, responsible pricing for the products we hope to bring to patients in the future,” Durrant said in a statement. “Drug pricing is a big concern for all stakeholders in healthcare. We believe that our approach balances the needs of key stakeholders, including patients, clinicians, payers, NGOs, investors, policy makers and advocacy groups.”

Straight from the horse’s mouth, here’s KaloBios’s “Responsible Pricing Model:”

  • Responsible Pricing = affordable for patients and payers, transparent for stakeholders and delivers a reasonable return for the company taking the risk of bringing products to patients.
  • We plan to price our products at overall cost, plus a reasonable and transparent profit margin, if and when we commercialize them.
  • In the case of benznidazole, for instance, the price will be cost plus a modest profit margin. We are not conducting original research on benznidazole and therefore do not plan to incorporate an “R&D premium” into the price.
  • We will publicly share the key elements that make up the pricing of our products.
  • We will seek input from key stakeholders on what would constitute a reasonable return.
  • We will not take arbitrary price increases on our products and will limit any increase to no more than the rate of inflation or Consumer Price Index and to no more than once a year, if at all.
  • We will not engage in aggressive or predatory pricing policies or “price-gouging.”
  • We plan to ensure patients, irrespective of their ability to pay, will have access to benznidazole, if and when KaloBios commercializes the product for Chagas disease in the United States.
  • In developing countries, we plan to make benznidazole available at, or near cost and plan to work with partners on creating access programs to ensure patients in need receive the medication.

The company was on the brink of destruction even before Shkreli took it under his wing. It’ll remain to be seen whether Durrant will have the skill and gumption to turn the tide for this struggling biotech.

[Image courtesy of Flickr user Bill David Brooks]