Flupirtine is already commercialized for pain relief in multiple non-U.S. markets.

Meda is paying Adeona Pharmaceuticals’ $2.5 million up front for the latter’s flupirtine, a treatment of fibromyalgia currently in Phase II. The exclusive sublicense gives Meda rights to develop and commercialize the treatment in the U.S., Japan, and Canada. Flupirtine is already approved and sold in a number of non-U.S. markets for the treatment of pain.

Meda will take over all development and commercialization costs for flupirtine as a treatment for fibromyalgia in its licensed territories. Adeona could receive another $5 million on NDA filing with FDA and $10 million on marketing approval in the U.S. Meda estimates the U.S. market for fibromyalgia will be near the $1 billion mark when flupirtine reaches the market.

The firms explain that flupirtine is selective neuronal potassium channel opener that also has NMDA receptor antagonist activity. They suggest that the therapy has a different mechanism of action compared to the three drugs currently approved by FDA for fibromyalgia: Pfizer’s Lyrica, Eli Lilly’s Cymbalta, and Forest Labs’ Savella.

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