UK company SkyePharma has forged another collaboration for its drug delivery technology that could bring in up to $50 million (€42m) in milestone payments plus a hefty royalty rate on sales.
The company has announced an agreement with US company First Horizon Pharmaceutical for an unnamed cardiovascular drug that is currently under regulatory review by the US Food and Drug Administration, with approval due before the end of the year.
A $5 million licensing fee will be paid upfront, and a further $15 million is due in the build up to FDA approval, should it be forthcoming. The remaining $30 million is accounted for by potential milestone payments relating to sales performance.
This is a welcome piece of news for SkyePharma, which posted a 24 per cent drop in turnover to £53 million (€78m) last year, which it blamed on delays in signing a number of product licensing deals. The company's strategy is to develop improved-release versions of drugs, which are then licensed out to third parties. SkyePharma then accrues revenues from royalties on sales and manufacturing.
SkyePharma will manufacture and supply the cardiovascular product from its Lyon manufacturing facility, and will make a contribution of up to $5 million to First Horizon 's initial marketing expenses to establish the product.
The US company has a dedicated salesforce in place that is geared up to promote cardiovascular products to general practitioners, already detailing a once-daily nisoldipine product called Sular and Nitrolingual (nitroglycerine) Pumpspray.
Meanwhile, Michael Ashton, SkyePharma's chief executive, said the new agreement "moves the company closer to our objective of fully commercialising our investment in the Lyon manufacturing operation."