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Novartis agrees to buy Spinifex Pharmaceuticals for more than $200m

Novartis agrees to buy Spinifex Pharmaceuticals for more than $200m

Swiss drugmaker Novartis has strengthened its presence in pain management by agreeing to acquire a US-Australia biotech firm Spinifex Pharmaceuticals for more than $200m.

Spinifex is focused on developing a peripheral approach to treat neuropathic pain such as EMA401, a new angiotensin II Type 2 receptor (AT2R) antagonist.

EMA401 is being developed as a potential first-in-class oral treatment for chronic pain, particularly neuropathic pain, without central nervous system (CNS) side effects.

The acquisition will add the new AT2R antagonist for the treatment of neuropathic pain to Novartis’ development pipeline.

As part of the deal, Spinifex shareholders are eligible to receive payments contingent on future clinical development and regulatory milestones in addition to the upfront payment of $200m from the Swiss Firm.

Novartis Pharmaceuticals head David Epstein said: “Neuropathic pain is a chronic and debilitating condition with high unmet need.

“EMA401 could provide a novel, differentiated treatment approach to provide relief for patients and healthcare providers worldwide.”

Spinifex’s experimental neuropathic pain drug EMA401, has showed positive mid-stage Phase II clinical trial results in the treating post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), a painful condition some people get after shingles.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the second half of this year, subject to the receipt of clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act and customary closing conditions.

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