Cubist grabs option deal to acquire PhII pain drug developer

Cubist Pharmaceuticals has stepped up with an option to buy out San Francisco-based Adynxx once it wraps up a mid-stage study of its lead drug for acute and chronic pain.

Adynxx has been pushing the EGR1-targeting AYX1 along in the clinic, now in Phase II to determine its efficacy following knee arthroplasty. EGR1 is considered a key pathway for pain. No terms for the deal were released, but Lexington, MA-based Cubist ($CBST) is paying for the option with cash in hand. If it likes the data, the biotech has agreed to pay out an undisclosed sum to complete the buyout.

"We believe AYX1 has the potential to revolutionize the treatment of post-surgical pain. Based on the growing need for new pain therapies that offer more than temporary symptom relief, Adynxx is committed to developing AYX1 as rapidly and robustly as possible," says CEO Rick Orr. "Given Cubist's proven expertise in the hospital setting, this agreement maximizes our chances of bringing this transformative therapy to market." 

Prior to joining Adynxx, Orr had been COO at Corthera, which was acquired by Pfizer ($PFE) in 2010 in a $620 million buyout, including $120 million upfront.

"This option agreement with Adynxx is an example of our disciplined efforts to expand our acute care pipeline, consistent with our Building Blocks of Growth goals," said Steven Gilman, the CSO at Cubist. "We are impressed with the pre-clinical and Phase I results to date of AYX1 and believe this program has the potential to become an important, new therapy that may help patients to address the significant issue of post-surgical and chronic pain. We are pleased to continue to advance AYX1 through this mutually beneficial agreement which provides Cubist exclusive rights to acquire Adynxx in the future."

- here's the press release

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