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Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (SCMP - Snapshot Report) recently received a milestone payment of $10 million from Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TKPYY). The payment was in accordance with a licensing and collaboration agreement between the two companies. The milestone payment was earned on the commercial launch of Amitiza in the US for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation (OIC) in adults with chronic, non-cancer pain.

Sucampo and Takeda’s association goes back to Oct 2004 when the companies collaborated for the development and commercialization of Amitiza in the US and Canada. According to the agreement, Sucampo stands to receive up to $50 million toward development costs for each additional indication and $20 million for each additional formulation.

All costs will be shared equally thereafter. Takeda has paid a total of $104.7 million toward research and development reimbursement as of Dec 31, 2012.

Amitiza was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006 for chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC) in adults. Furthermore, it gained FDA approval in 2008 for irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) in adult women.

Amitiza is approved for CIC in Switzerland as well as the UK and for chronic constipation (CC) in Japan. Sucampo reported $64.9 million US net sales of Amitiza in the first quarter of 2013. Amitiza currently holds the status of being the only oral approved therapy for OIC in adult patients with chronic, non-cancer pain.

Several companies like Salix Pharmaceutical Ltd./Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (SLXP - Analyst Report)/(PGNX - Snapshot Report) are developing candidates for OIC in patients with chronic pain.

Sucampo currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Meanwhile, Salix Pharma looks well-positioned with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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