Buy decision pays off
Helsingborg/Exton – Swedish drug developer DuoCort Pharma AB has been purchased by US-based biopharmaceuticals maker ViroPharma Inc. ViroPharma paid around €25m up front, but DuoCort’s former owners could end up receiving €97m more in milestones associated with manufacturing, sales thresholds and expansion. The buy was a calculated risk that paid off. ViroPharma announced its intention to buy DuoCort on October 27th, and just a week later the European Commission granted European Marketing Authorisation for DuoCort’s Plenadren, an orphan drug for the treatment of adrenal insufficiency in adults. The new American owners now say they expect Plenadren to hit the European market at the end of 2012, and anticipate that peak year sales of the orphan drug could reach €37m annually. “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 ViroPharma President and CEO Vincent Milano. ViroPharma currently has only two other products on the market – Cinryze (approved for the treatment of hereditary angioedema) and Vancocin (approved for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infections).