Stealth biotech picks up Questcor drug program

Xconomy has been digging into the regulatory paperwork to find out more about Evoke Pharma, a San Diego-based developer that's been operating in stealth mode. A quarterly report from Questcor shows that Evoke licensed its experimental gastroparesis drug from the Hayward, CA company.

Questcor sold the rights to the drug for $448,000 and a schedule of milestones and royalties. Questcor had revealed earlier that it spent $4.6 million working on the therapy before putting it on a back shelf. It had been developing the metoclopromide nasal spray with Shire Pharmaceuticals, evidently working in the belief that a spray form would act faster against the digestive disorder suffered by diabetics. But the drug has also been associated with significant safety issues.

Cam Garner, a well known figure in San Diego's biotech community, co-founded Evoke. Garner is best known for his role running Dura Pharmaceuticals, which was bought out by Elan for $1.8 billion.

- read the report from Xconomy