31. October 2011 11:32
ViroPharma has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Swedish-based DuoCort Pharma AB for an initial $33.6 million – but only if Plenadren is approved by the European Commission (EC).
Under the terms of the agreement, the deal will be closed after the tablet’s approval, after the EC’s confirmation of Plenadren’s orphan drug designation, and an amended agreement with the product’s contract manufacturer.
Vincent Milano, ViroPharma's President and CEO, says the deal is in line with the company’s “objective of broadening our orphan drug portfolio”.
Further milestone patients of up to $131 million associated with manufacturing, sales thresholds and territory expansion have also been agreed as part of the acquisition.
Plenadren is a once daily dual-release oral glucocorticoid tablet with a release profile designed to closely mimic the body's natural secretion pattern of cortisol. ViroPharma now anticipates the commercial launch of the treatment – which it says will be the first “true innovation in over 50 years” – of adrenal insufficiency in the EU within a year. It estimates that peak annual sales for Plenadren could reach up to $50 million.
The Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products confirmed in September that Plenadren’s orphan designation would be maintained and protected for a decade of market exclusivity.