Sale represents Avanir’s efforts to focus entirely on Phase III compound for DPN pain and pseudobulbar affect.

Avanir Pharmaceuticals is selling its portfolio of human monoclonal anthrax antibodies to Emergent BioSolutions. Under terms of the definitive agreement, Avanir could receive up to $1.75 million in upfront and milestone fees as well as royalties on annual net sales upon commercialization.

The agreement is another step for Avanir in its plan to focus on its late-stage compound in development for diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain and pseudobulbar affect. The firm ended collaborations with Novartis and AstraZeneca about a year ago. The only other development program involving selective cytokine inhibitors was placed on  hold in November 2006.

“This transaction along with other potential monetization of noncore assets will provide additional nondilutive financing and allow us to continue our focus on the ongoing clinical development of our promising Phase III drug candidate, Zenvia™,” says Keith Katkin, Avanir’s president and CEO.

With this divestiture, Emergent acquires Avanir’s lead candidate, AVP-21D9, and additional anthrax antibodies. Emergent also receives a limited exclusive license to use Avanir’s Xenerex™ platform to develop future human mAbs targeted against Bacillus anthracis.

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