STAMFORD, Conn. and FREMONT, Calif., Sept. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Purdue Pharma L.P. announced today the acquisition from VM Pharma LLC of VM-902A, a first-in-class, allosteric selective tropomyosin receptor kinase A (TrkA) inhibitor, as well as the backup compounds and associated intellectual property for the potential treatment of chronic pain. TrkA is a member of a larger family of important signaling proteins known as tyrosine receptor kinases. Selective inhibition of TrkA activation provides a new and attractive therapeutic approach to address pain symptoms.
Under the terms of agreement, VM Pharma received an upfront payment and could potentially receive development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments, which together with the upfront payment, could total up to $213 million, as well as royalties on potential sales of VM-902A.
The lead compound, VM-902A, is an orally bioavailable, peripherally-acting and allosteric inhibitor of protein kinase TrkA, the high affinity receptor of nerve growth factor (NGF). It is a novel compound with an unprecedented mechanism of action anticipated to offer strong, targeted efficacy for pain. Phase I clinical trials of VM-902A were successfully completed in 72 human subjects in single and multiple ascending dose trials.
"The TrKA mechanism and VM-902A specifically hold great promise in treating pain," said Mark Timney, President and Chief Executive Officer, Purdue Pharma L.P. "This acquisition expands and diversifies our pipeline by adding a potentially innovative non-opioid, non-NSAID treatment to our portfolio."
Purdue Pharma plans to progress the development of VM-902A immediately, with Phase II clinical trial enrollment starting in early 2016.
"As leaders in the pain market, Purdue Pharma's proven expertise in developing and commercializing therapies for pain, makes them the ideal company to advance the work of the VM Pharma team," said Jay Wu, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, VM Pharma LLC. "I have confidence they will take this TrKA program forward to develop innovative pain management therapies."
Oppenheimer & Co. acted as exclusive financial advisor and Cooley LLP acted as legal counsel to VM Pharma. Chadbourne & Parke LLP served as lead outside counsel for Purdue Pharma. The global acquisition of the assets is by Purdue Pharma L.P. and Mundipharma International Corporation Limited.
About Purdue Pharma L.P.
Purdue Pharma L.P. and associated U.S. companies are privately-held pharmaceutical companies known for pioneering research in chronic pain. Purdue Pharma is engaged in the research, development, production, and distribution of prescription and over-the-counter medicines, as well as hospital products. Purdue Pharma is committed to advancing the care of patients with quality products that make a positive impact on healthcare — and on lives. Purdue Pharma's headquarters are located in Stamford, Conn. For more information about Purdue Pharma, please visit www.purduepharma.com.
About VM Pharma LLC
VM Pharma, a spin-off of VM Discovery, Inc., is focused on identifying and developing differentiated allosteric (non-ATP competitive) kinase inhibitors for clinical development in the treatment of pain, cancer (via spin-off VM Oncology) and other human diseases. VM-902A is one of several clinical drug candidates originally discovered by VM Discovery's drug design technology platform, the "VMOptimizer." Established in 2011, VM Pharma is a member of a family of associated companies that are developing therapeutic uses of selective compounds precisely targeting certain disease pathways, including protein kinases, fusion proteins or mutations, ion channels (via spin-off VM Therapeutics) and apoptosis in the therapeutic areas including oncology, pain and neurological diseases. VM Pharma is based in Fremont, Calif.