BioDelivery Sciences (Nasdaq: BDSI) is licensing its technology for treatment of chronic pain to Pennsylvania-based Endo Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ENDP) in a deal worth as much as $180 million to the Raleigh-based firm.

Endo is paying $30 million up front to BDSI for licensing and commercialization rights to BEMA Buprenorphine.

The company had been seeking a commercial partner for development of BEMA Buprenorphine. It did not have enough cash on hand for clinical trials of it and another product.
BEMA Buprenorphine needed another set of phase 3 trials after failing in trials in September.

BEMA stands for bioerodible mucoadhesive, the patented technology from BDSI that enables to deliver of opioid-based pain relievers through the mouth.

BDSI will receive as much as $180 million if development milestones are met, the company said in a statement issued early Friday before the markets opened.

Endo, which has a market cap of more than $4 billion, will pay BDSI royalties.

Endo will be responsible for manufacturing, distribution, marketing and sales of BEMA Buprenorphine worldwide.

The companies will work together on Phase 3 clinical trials.

“We could not be more pleased to enter into this significant partnership with a company that has the financial strength, market presence and focus in pain management as Endo,” said Dr. Mark A. Sirgo, BDSI’s chief executive officer.

“As we considered the ideal commercial partner for BDSI’s most significant asset, we sought to balance the financial benefits of the transaction with a company that had a real need for a product with the potential of BEMA Buprenorphine along with solid experience and commitment to the pain category,” he added. “Endo is one of the most highly regarded and recognized companies in the area of pain management, and they continue to demonstrate their ability to excel in this category.”

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