[Update 06.30.2015] According to an email sent to FierceBiotech by Spinifex’s CEO Tom McCarthy, Novartis could pay an additional $500m (approximately €445m) of future milestones to Spinifex’s shareholders.
Spinifex Pharmaceuticals, a US-Australian biotechnology company has just been bought by Novartis. With this acquisition, the Swiss giant aims to control the development of EMA401, a new treatment for chronic pain.
Spinifex’s lead candidate EMA401 is a novel angiotensin II type 2 (AT2) receptor antagonist, being developed as a potential first-in-class oral treatment for chronic pain. AT2 receptor antagonists are a group of molecules modulating the renin-angiotensin system, a hormone system that regulates blood pressure and fluid balance. EMA401 has been developed to cure neuropathic pain by acting on this hormone system, without central nervous system side effects.
Neuropathic pain is caused by a lesion or disease of the somatosensory nervous system, induced by diverse reasons including diabetes, cancer, viruses and nerve trauma. Current treatments for neuropathic pain do not work in all individuals or are inducing strong side-effects.