Galena buys rights to cancer-pain drug from Orexo

Abstral received FDA approval in 2011 for breakthrough cancer pain

LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. — Galena Biopharma has purchased rights to a treatment for breakthrough cancer pain from a Swedish drug maker, Galena said Monday.

Galena, which specializes in cancer-related drugs, said it acquired Abstral (fentanyl) sublingual tablets for sale and distribution in the United States from Orexo AB. Breakthrough cancer pain, or BTcP, affects between 40% to 80% of cancer patients, with reported episodes of four per day and a median duration of 30 minutes, according to Galena.

Abstral received approval from the Food and Drug Administration in January 2011. The drug belongs to a class known as transmucosal immediate-release fentanyl, or TIRFs, which have a market of $400 million in the United States, Galena said. The drug is designed for patients who are already receiving opioids, but have become tolerant to them.

Under the agreement, Galena will pay $10 million upfront to Orexo and $5 million within the first 12 months of closing, plus low double-digit royalties and one-time milestone payments based on pre-specified net sales.


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