Sunovion sheds asthma brands to focus on COPD
- Sunovion Pharmaceuticals on Thursday said it would divest U.S. marketing rights to three of its asthma and allergy meds, part of an effort to bolster its focus on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- The Massachusetts-based drugmaker will hand off rights to three branded versions of the corticosteroid ciclesonide to Swiss specialty pharma Covis Pharma. Neither company disclosed financial details for the transaction, which is expected to close during the first half of Sunovion's fiscal year 2017.
- Sunovion, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japanese drugmaker Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, licensed U.S. rights to three COPD products from Novartis at the end of last year and recently resubmitted a New Drug Application for its lead candidate Sun-101/eFlow in COPD as well.
With the divestiture of its asthma and allergy brands, Sunovion will trim its focus to two core therapeutic areas: COPD and psychiatric/neurological conditions.
The deal with Novartis, inked in December 2016, gave Sunovion rights to the combo product Utibron Neohaler (indacaterol/glycopyrrolate) as well as to marketed versions of Utibron's components, Seebri Neohaler (glycopyrrolate) and Arcapta Neohaler (indacaterol).
Sunovion had hoped to win approval for its own COPD treatment Sun101/eFlow earlier this year but hit a roadblock in May, when the Food and Drug Administration issued complete response letter. The FDA has since accepted the company's resubmitted NDA, setting a target action date of December 15, 2017.
Outside of COPD, Sunovion is working to expand its offerings in neurological conditions. The company dropped $624 million to buy out Cynapsus nearly a year ago, gaining access to a Phase 3-ready candidate for Parkinson's disease.
Sunovion also markets treatments for bipolar depression and insomnia.
- Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Press release
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