CombinatoRx scores $40M payout on FDA approval

CombinatoRx's complex merger deal with Neuromed will pay off with a $40 million milestone earned with today's announcement that the FDA has approved Exalgo, a once-daily pain therapy. Covidien, which partnered on the program, will handle the commercial rollout and fork over the cash.

CombinatoRx (CRXX), which was forced to restructure last year after its lead program failed a key clinical trial, also saw its share price jump 44 percent in pre-market trading. Aside from the milestone, the approval also nails down the respective equity stakes for shareholders.

Neuromed shareholders obtained a sliding stake in the merged outfit based on the timing of an FDA approval, with their equity shrinking based on any delays. Pre-merger CombinatoRx shareholders saw their equity stake jump to 40 percent when 2009 closed without an approval. That figure is now set in stone.

- here's the press release
- check out the Reuters story