Those of us who've ever endured the misery of taking an unpleasant-tasting purgative prior to a colonoscopy or bowel surgery may have reason to rejoice, as Salix has just picked up worldwide exclusive rights to RedHill Biopharma's RHB-106, which the Raleigh, NC-based firm says could be "the first prescription encapsulated bowel prep product." Salix also got the rights to other purgative developments as part of the deal.
Per the agreement, Salix is making an upfront payment of $7 million and also $5 million in subsequent milestone payments to RedHill. The company will also pay RedHill tiered royalties on net sales ranging from low single-digit up to low double-digits. Both firms may also be collaborating with regard to certain other Salix products in specific territories as part of this agreement.
"Many patients find the taste and palatability of current bowel prep products to be unacceptable," said Salix' president and CEO Carolyn Logan in a statement. "We believe the availability of a tasteless solid oral formulation bowel prep, if approved by the FDA, could potentially go a long way in helping to increase patient compliance and to ease patient burden associated with bowel cleansing prior to various medically important abdominal procedures."
Salix has as of late been expanding its gastrointestinal drug portfolio. Back in November, the firm acquired Santarus—developer of the ulcerative colitis drug Uceris® (budesonide)—for about $2.6 billion as part of this expansion.