Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ACOR) today announced that it has acquired two neuropathic pain management assets from NeurogesX, Inc. (OTCBB: NGSX). Qutenza ® is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the management of neuropathic pain associated with postherpetic neuralgia. The Company also acquired NP-1998, a Phase 3 ready, prescription strength capsaicin topical solution, being assessed for the treatment of neuropathic pain. NP-1998 was previously referred to as NGX-1998.
“The acquisition of Qutenza and NP-1998 enables us to expand into the area of neuropathic pain management. We plan to support Qutenza with our existing medical and commercial infrastructure, which includes one of the industry’s best neurology sales forces,” said Ron Cohen, M.D., Acorda’s President and CEO. “In addition, we will leverage our neurology expertise to evaluate NP-1998 for the treatment of neuropathic pain, with an initial emphasis on painful diabetic neuropathy. This adds another potentially important, late stage product to our pipeline.”
Acorda made an approximately $8 million payment to acquire development and commercialization rights for Qutenza and NP-1998 in the United States, Canada, Latin America and certain other territories, including $7 million paid to NeurogesX and approximately $900,000 for certain assumed accounts payable. Acorda will also make up to $5 million in payments contingent upon the achievement of certain regulatory and sales milestones related to NP-1998. Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd. has exclusive commercialization rights for Qutenza in the European Economic Area (EEA) including the 27 countries of the European Union, Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein as well as Switzerland, certain countries in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Astellas also has an option to develop NP-1998 in those same territories.
Qutenza is a dermal patch containing 8% prescription strength capsaicin that is applied once every three months for the management of neuropathic pain associated with postherpetic neuralgia, also known as post-shingles nerve pain. The drug was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2010, and had net sales of $2.6 million in 2011. NeurogesX discontinued active promotion of the product in March 2012; net sales were approximately $2.4 million through the end of the third quarter of 2012. Acorda plans to support Qutenza in the United States using the Company’s existing commercial organization, including its specialty neurology sales force of approximately 100 sales professionals, as well as its medical and safety reporting infrastructure.NP-1998 is a topical solution containing 20% prescription strength capsaicin under clinical development as a treatment for pain associated with neuropathic pain conditions such as painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN).