VIVUS, Inc. (VVUS - Free Report) acquired exclusive global rights to develop and commercialize pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) drugs, tacrolimus and ascomycin from private biotech company, Selten Pharma, Inc.
VIVUS’ share price has gained 24% in the past one year, while the Zacks classified Medical-Biomedical and Genetics industry fell 12.4%.
Selten also licensed a family of patents along with all rights under a collection of patent applications to VIVUS. The licensed patent family includes a patent (‘745) that deals with methods of using tacrolimus to treat PAH. The assigned patent applications are directed to additional compounds and methods for the treatment of PAH and formulations for tacrolimus. In Mar 2015, Selten received orphan drug designation for tacrolimus for the treatment of PAH.
VIVUS assumes all development and commercialization responsibilities. Meanwhile, Selten will receive an upfront payment, and development and sales milestone payments, along with tiered royalties on future sales of these compounds.
PAH is a chronic life-threatening disease characterized by increased blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries. The disease currently has treatment options that only to slow down the advancement of the disease. Thus, the collaboration between the two companies is an effort to bring new therapies for the PAH market.
The PAH market is already crowded with drugs like Adcirca, Revatio, United Therapeutics Corporation’s (UTHR - Free Report) Tyvaso and Actelion Ltd.’s Veletri, among others.
Meanwhile, several other companies are also looking to bring their own PAH treatments to the market. Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ARNA - Free Report) is currently evaluating its PAH candidate, ralinepag, in a phase II study. Results from the study are expected in mid 2017. Ralinepag enjoys Orphan Drug status in the U.S.
VIVUS currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.
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