RALEIGH – RedHill Biopharma says it has terminated a lincensing deal with Raleigh-based Salix Pharmaceuticals to regain rights to a gastrointestinal treatment that remains under development.

RedHill and Salix struck a deal for $12 million in 2014 that included a $7 million upfront payment for a bowel prep drug known as RHB-106.

Market sales for bowel prep were $580 million in the US alone, according to the company which operates in Raleigh and Tel Aviv.

Testing in a phase two clinical trial in Australia demonstrated effectiveness, according to RedHill.

“We are pleased to regain the rights to RHB-106, which aligns well with our expanded gastrointestinal-focused commercial activities in the U.S., and to pursue its development toward potential U.S. FDA approval,” said Dror Ben-Asher, RedHill’s CEO, in a statement.

“The quality of a bowel preparation, defined by its safety, palatability and efficacy, directly impacts the success of a colonoscopy. We believe RHB-106’s novel flavorless solid oral pill formulation holds significant potential advantages over current bowel preparations and could ease patient burden and improve the likelihood of a successful outcome.”

Salix later was sold to Canada-based Valeant.

Salix strikes $12M licensing deal for bowel prep drug