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Jul 9, 2009

AstraZeneca Pulls the Plug on Asthma Collaboration with MAP Pharmaceuticals

  • AstraZenca has ended its agreement with MAP Pharmaceuticals covering unit dose budesonide (UDB) due to the previously reported Phase III failure in pediatric asthma. Additionally, MAP Pharmaceuticals has decided to suspend development of UDB.

    The agreement, which began with a $40 million up-front fee, had the potential to be worth up to $900 million.

    “MAP Pharmaceuticals is considering options for its pediatric asthma program moving forward, including the development of a next-generation therapy with budesonide,” says Timothy S. Nelson, president and CEO.

    In February, the companies announced that UDB did not significantly improve asthma control in either of the doses evaluated when compared to placebo. MAP Pharmaceuticals stock plummeted 65% in the first day of trading after this news to $3.79. Since then positive results from a late-stage study of Levadex as a migraine therapy has helped pushed the share price back up, and the firm opened today at $10.44.

    “MAP Pharmaceuticals remains focused on developing our Levadex migraine therapy, which recently achieved all four primary endpoints in a Phase III clinical trial,” adds Nelson.

    MAP Pharmaceuticals finished the first quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $67.7 million and $4.7 million in accounts receivables.

    Besides the $40 million AstraZeneca initially paid in December 2008 when the deal was signed, it also agreed to another $35 million upon successs in Phase III. Further development and regulatory milestones could have totaled $240 million and sales-related milestones could have been up to $585 million.

     



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