Questcor acquires US rights to Novartis drug for $135m

Questcor Pharmaceuticals has acquired the rights to develop autoimmune and inflammatory disease drugs, Synacthen and Synacthen Depot, in the US from Novartis for an upfront payment of US $60 million.

Under terms of the agreement, Questcor will make additional payments to Novartis of at least $75 million over the next several years. The biotech will also make potential milestone payments prior to FDA approval, because at the moment, Synacthen and Synacthen Depot are not approved in the US. Upon FDA approval, Questcor will pay Novartis further royalities based on sales in the US.

The company is also trying to acquire the rights to these drugs in over three dozen countries outside of the US, but this is still subject to certain closing conditions that must be satisfied within the next two years.

“As an emerging leader in melanocortin research, we now have the opportunity with Synacthen to expand and accelerate our product development activities. We believe such efforts will enhance our expanding R&D program. In addition, this key acquisition provides an opportunity to initiate our presence in more than three dozen international markets, giving us an opportunity to reinvigorate Synacthen in these markets and providing us a platform for potential international growth.”

Don M. Bailey, President and CEO of Questcor.

Synacthen (tetracosactide) is a synthetic 24 amino acid melanocortin receptor agonist and Synacthen Depot is a depot formulation of Synacthen. Both products are approved outside of the US and are available in over forty countries to treat a number of conditions including some rheumatoid diseases, ulcerative colitis, chronic skin conditions responsive to corticosteroids, nephrotic syndrome, acute exacerbations in patients suffering from multiple sclerosis or retrobulbar neuritis. Both drugs are also used as a diagnostic test for adrenal insufficiency.

Following this announcement, shares of Questcor rose 22.6% to $45.01 in morning trading.


Related news:

Questcor will pay at least $135M for Novartis drug (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Reference links:

Questcor Pharmaceuticals press release

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