Orexigen and Valeant bulk up Contrave deal
- Strengthening a previous agreement, Orexigen Therapeutics announced it has teamed up with Valeant Pharmaceuticals to market its floundering obesity drug in Australia and New Zealand.
- Valeant will be responsible for gaining regulatory approval and commercializing Contrave (naltrexone/bupropion) in those countries. Orexigen expects Valeant to file for approval in the first half of 2017.
- Financial details of the collaboration were not disclosed, but Orexigen will supply the drug to Valeant for a transfer price and receive certain sales-based milestone payments.
Building on an agreement inked in early 2016 that gave Valeant the rights to commercialize Mysimba (Contrave's name in Europe) to Central and Eastern Europe, the beleaguered Canadian pharma will now take on commercialization in other parts of the world.
"Our commercial strategy outside the United States is to realize the global value of Contrave/Mysimba through partnerships with strong local and regional pharmaceutical companies. Valeant's capabilities in consumer marketing and prescription medicine distribution make them a strong partner for Orexigen in Australia and New Zealand," said Orexigen CEO Mike Narachi in a November 8 statement.
Orexigen is linking its broken cart to a lame horse. Valeant has been struggling for over a year now as evidence of scandal and price-gouging have chipped away at both its share price and investor sentiment. Valeant hit a new low this week, trading under $15 per share, well below its 2015 highs in excess of $250 per share.
Meanwhile, Orexigen has problems of its own. Once considered a favorite amongst obesity drug makers, prescription weight-loss treatments have failed to take off in the U.S. market. The biotech got the U.S. rights for Contrave back from its Japanese marketing partner Takeda Pharmaceutical after the drug failed to perform, and is now trying to commercialize the treatment on its own in the U.S.
Only 550,524 prescriptions of the drug were written in the first nine months of 2016, according to data from IMS Health. Contrave brought in $7 million in revenues in the third quarter, down from $10 million in the year-prior period.
- Orexigen Therapeutics Statement
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