Durect signed an agreement with Santen Pharmaceutical  granting Santen the exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize a sustained release product utilizing Durect’s SABER® technology to deliver an ophthalmology drug.

Santen will pay Durect an upfront fee of $2 million in cash and make contingent cash payments to the company upon the achievement of certain development and commercialization milestones. If the product is commercialized, Durect would also receive a tiered royalty on product sales. Santen will control and fund the development program.

“We're pleased to be working on this program with Santen given their expertise and global leadership position in the ophthalmology field,” said James E. Brown, president and CEO of Durect. “We've been working together on this program as a feasibility project, and are now delighted that Santen has chosen to advance this effort into a formal development program.”

The SABER technology is the basis of the drug Posidur™, which is the subject of an NDA for post-operative pain, and Relday™, which has completed a single dose Phase I clinical trial in the U.S. for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder  The SABER technology is also the basis for SucroMate™ Equine, an injectable animal health drug containing the peptide deslorelin, which was the company’s first FDA approved SABER injectable product, launched in 2011.

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