Firm will develop and commercialize Gattex for gastrointestinal disorders outside North America.

Following Phase III results of NPS Pharmaceuticals’ drug for short bowel syndrome, Nycomed has confirmed its intention to license Gattex. Under the terms of the agreement signed in September, Nycomed will pay $25 million to develop and commercialize the medication outside North America for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders.

The firms note that Gattex is a potential first-in-class drug. It is an analog of naturally occurring human glucagon-like peptide 2 (GLP-2), a peptide secreted primarily in the distal intestine and involved in the regeneration and repair of the intestinal epithelium.

NPS reported top-line results from the late-stage investigation in SBS. The low-dose group achieved the clinical efficacy endpoint with statistical significance. The high-dose group also showed clinical efficacy but did not reach statistical significance.

NPS previously received $10 million and stands to earn up to $150 million related to the attainment of certain regulatory milestones for the SBS indication, the successful development of new indications, and the achievement of sales-based milestones. The transaction also provides for double-digit royalties on sales in the Nycomed territories.

The companies will equally share development costs for indications that are pursued jointly. NPS is pursuing development of Gattex as a treatment for chemotherapy-induced gastrointestinal mucositis in cancer patients and necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm infants.

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