Boston hospital rakes in $284M on drug rights

Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has raked in a giant $284 million windfall on royalty rights for foreign sales of Enbrel. Enbrel, a successful rheumatoid arthritis drug, generated sales of $4.4 billion last year, including $1.5 billion in non-U.S. sales. MGH gets some $213 million, and $71 million goes to biophysicist Brian Seed. Seed, an MGH researcher, discovered a method for fusing proteins that act as decoys, blocking patients' inflammatory response to arthritic joint tissues. MGH had previously received $248 million, $62 million of which went to Seed, in settlement of a patent dispute with Enbrel manufacturer Amgen. MGH officials said they sold the rights rather than collecting annual royalties because they're afraid the biologic drug could lose market favor due to its high costs and the fact that it's injected rather than taken orally.

To learn more about the windfall:
- read this piece from The Boston Globe