LEO Pharma will market to U.S. dermatologists Antares Pharma’s soon-to-launch Otrexup™ (methotrexate) injection for symptomatic control of severe recalcitrant psoriasis in adults, in an up-to-$20 million deal, Antares said today.

Under an exclusive U.S. promotion and marketing agreement, LEO Pharma will oversee Otrexup promotion and marketing activities in dermatology.

In return, LEO Pharma will pay Antares $5 million up front, and may pay up to $20 million tied to achieving undisclosed milestones.

Antares also agreed to record all product revenue associated with future dermatology prescriptions and pay LEO Pharma a percentage of Otrexup net sales generated in dermatology.

“With a dedicated U.S. sales force of 75 representatives focused solely on the treatment of psoriasis, we believe LEO Pharma will be able to introduce and establish Otrexup as an important new treatment option with significant growth potential in dermatology while complementing our own dedicated sales representatives detailing Otrexup for rheumatoid arthritis,” Paul Wotton, Ph.D., Antares’ president and CEO, said in a statement.

In addition to severe recalcitrant psoriasis, Otrexup is also indicated for adults with severe active rheumatoid arthritis, and children with active polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

Danish-headquartered LEO Pharma focuses on developing dermatology and critical care treatments. Antares focuses on self-administered parenteral pharmaceutical products and topical gel-based medicines. The company has developed three proprietary platforms, two of which now include FDA-approved products.

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