By Frank Vinluan, MedCity News
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The migraine headache treatment developed by Pozen (NASDAQ:POZN) now has a partner for commercialization in Europe.
Pozen licensed the compound MT 400 to German central nervous system therapies company Desitin in a deal that will pay the Chapel Hill, North Carolina drug developer $3 million up front, plus milestones and royalties from drug sales in the 27 European Union countries as well as Switzerland and Norway.
U.S. migraine sufferers know MT 400 as the drug Treximet, marketed by Pozen drug partner GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK). While GSK licensed U.S. rights to the drug, Pozen retained rest-of-world rights to the compound. Pozen last year struck a licensing deal for MT 400 with Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidiary Cilag to commercialize MT 400 in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. The Desitin and Cilag versions of MT 400 will be different dosages than the Treximet pill. Desitin currently markets one migraine treatment of its own: Sumavel DosePro, an injectable drug.
Migraine headaches are most commonly found in those between 35 and 45 year old, but can affect much younger people, according to the World Health Organization. The WHO cites European and American studies that show between 6 percent to 8 percent of men and 15 percent to 18 percent of women experience migraines annually. A class of drugs known as triptans are typically prescribed to treat migraines.
MT 400 combines the migraine treatment sumatriptan with naproxen sodium; each drug works differently to relieve pain. The compound drug’s dual mechanism was developed to give superior pain relief over drugs that relieve pain from a single mechanism of action.
Treximet is currently Pozen’s top seller. GSK reported $92 million in 2011 Treximet sales, which brings Pozen $12.2 million in 2011 royalties. Pozen also received $75 million in a deal last year that gave future U.S. Treximet royalty rights to Canadian pension fund CPPIB Investment, a move the company made to support commercialization of another drug. But the MT 400 deals in Latin America and Europe should give Pozen additional revenue from other markets in coming years.