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Furiex acquires worldwide rights to premature ejaculation drug

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Furiex Pharmaceuticals announced Monday that it has reached an agreement to acquire the worldwide rights to Priligy, a drug that is currently marketed for treatment of premature ejaculation in 43 countries.

The Morrisville company also simultaneously announced it has agreed to license the rights to Priligy in Europe, most of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East to the Menarini Group. Furiex will retail full development and commercialization rights in the U.S., Japan and Canada.

Furiex is acquiring the worldwide rights from Alza Corp. and Janssen Pharmaceutica, N.V.  Under the deal, Janssen will continue to manufacture the drug for a period after the signing of the agreement.

Furiex is obligated to pay $15 million to Alza over the transition period, and possibly as much as $5 million more in clinical study costs and other expenses. The transition period is expected to be between 9 and 12 months.

Under the terms of Furiex's deal with Menarini, Furiex will be eligible to receive $15 million in up front payments and up to $19 million to fund ongoing clinical costs, up to $20 million in regulatory and launch-based milestones, and up to $40 million in sales-based milestones, plus royalties on product sales.

Priligy is marketed in 15 counties in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Both deals are expected to close in the third quarter.

Furiex reported earlier this month a loss of $9.8 million, or 98 cents per share, compared with $14.4 million, or $1.45 per share, in the first quarter of 2011.

Furiex stock was hammered late last month after the diabetes medication alogliptin that it is developing with partner Takeda Pharmaceutical failed to win U.S. regulatory approval.

Furiex was spun out of Wilmington-based pharmaceutical services company PPD in June 2010 when PPD shareholders received one share of Furiex common stock for every dozen shares of PPD they held.

Before the spinoff, PPD transferred $100 million in cash to Furiex.

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About the blogger

Business reporter David Bracken came to the N&O in 2004. He covers commercial and residential real estate. Contact David at 919-829-4548 or e-mail him.