Swedish DuoCort Pharma snatched up by US Viropharma
Exton/Helsingborg – A Swedish specialist for improving glucocorticoid replacement therapy has attracted transatlantic attention. DuoCort Pharma AB, based in Helsingborg, was bought by ViroPharma Incorporated, an US-based biopharmaceutical company. ViroPharma paid an upfront of €25 million. In the best case for DuoCorts's former owners, the Americans will pay €97 million in milestones associated with manufacturing, sales thresholds and territory expansion. ViroPharma has won a bet. On October 27th it announced its intention to buy DuoCort, a move that was justified when on 3rd November the European Commission granted European Marketing Authorisation for DuoCort's Plenadren, an orphan drug for treatment of adrenal insufficiency in adults. Plenadren is a once daily dual-release oral glucocorticoid tablet with a release profile designed to more closely mimic the body’s natural secretion pattern of cortisol. ViroPharma now says it anticipates Plenadren to hit the European market at the end of 2012. ViroPharma anticipates peak year sales for Plenadren could reach €37 million. “We are excited by the approval of Plenadren in Europe and confirmation of its Orphan Drug Designation by the EC which gives this product 10 years of market exclusivity at launch,” said Vincent Milano, ViroPharma’s president and CEO.