Shares of DURECT Corp. (NASDAQ: DRRX) surged more than 30% in morning trade after the biopharmaceutical company announced a development and commercialization agreement with Sandoz AG, a division of Novartis (NYSE: NVS), for the development and U.S. marketing of POSIMIR®, DURECT’s non-opioid analgesic intended to provide up to three days of continuous pain relief after surgery. Per the agreement, DURECT will receive from Sandoz an upfront payment of $20 million, the potential for up to an additional $43 million in development and regulatory milestones, up to an additional $230 million in sales-based milestones, as well as tiered double-digit royalty on product sales in the United States. “We are delighted to collaborate with a company with the market presence and resources of Sandoz to commercialize POSIMIR in the United States,” James E. Brown, president and CEO of DURECT, stated in the news release. “We believe that POSIMIR has the potential to become a cornerstone of multi-modal post-operative pain management. As a non-opioid local analgesic, we believe POSIMIR may be an important contributor to the on-going efforts to reduce the use of opioid-based medications following surgery.” The agreement is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017.
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DURECT is a biopharmaceutical company actively developing new therapeutics based on its Epigenetic Regulator Program and proprietary drug delivery platforms. DUR‑928, a new chemical entity in Phase 1 development, is the lead candidate in DURECT’s Epigenetic Regulator Program. An endogenous, orally bioavailable small molecule, DUR-928 has been shown in preclinical studies to play an important regulatory role in lipid homeostasis, inflammation, and cell survival. Human applications may include acute organ injury and chronic metabolic diseases such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and other liver diseases both broad and orphan. DURECT’s advanced oral, injectable, and transdermal delivery technologies are designed to enable new indications and enhanced attributes for small-molecule and biologic drugs. One late-stage product candidate in this category is POSIMIR® (SABER®-Bupivacaine), an investigational locally-acting, non-opioid analgesic intended to provide up to three days of continuous pain relief after surgery. Another late stage product candidate is REMOXY® ER (oxycodone), an investigational pain control drug based on DURECT’s ORADUR® technology. For more information, please visit www.durect.com.
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