Spinifex Pharmaceuticals sold to Novartis

Novartis will continue to develop the company’s programmes to address neuropathic pain

Spinifex Pharmaceuticals and its Australian subsidiary, Spinifex Pharmaceuticals, a company focused on the development of new drugs for the treatment of chronic pain, has agreed to the sale of Spinifex to Novartis for an upfront cash consideration of US$200m plus significant further development and regulatory milestone payments.

The acquisition is centred on Spinifex’s lead candidate EMA401, a novel angiotensin II type 2 (AT2) receptor antagonist, being developed as a potential first-in-class oral treatment for chronic pain, particularly neuropathic pain, without central nervous system (CNS) side effects.

As a result of the acquisition, Novartis will continue to develop the company’s programmes and is planning to undertake phase IIb clinical trials in patients with post herpetic neuralgia and painful diabetic neuropathy, and intends to build on these two key indications to pursue peripheral neuropathic pain applications.

The transaction is expected to close in H2 2015, subject to the receipt of clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act and customary closing conditions.

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