- Novartis has struck a $700 million buyout deal for Spinifex, based in Australia, which has a pain drug in mid-stage trials with a novel mode of action (MOA).
- EMA401 works by blocking the angiotensin II type 2 receptor, which is a new approach and could become a viable alternative to opioids.
- Novartis is ushering EMA401 into phase IIb trials to study the compound's efficacy, safety, and tolerability profile in treating postherpetic neuralgia and painful diabetic neuropathy.
Novartis is recognized in the industry for its R&D prowess, and this buyout represents an opportunity for the company to bolster its pain-treatment pipeline with a candidate that could be a game changer if it makes it to market.
This story is underscored by the crisis surrounding opioid pain medication abuse—a problem in which two million Americans are addicted to opiates, according to the World Health Organization, and 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain.
Another positive dimension to this story is the collaborative interactions between an international venture capital syndicate (including GBS Venture Partners, Brandon Capital Partners, Uniseed, and UniQuest) and Australian investors, and the net effect of bringing a drug that was developed in academia closer to commercialization.