Pacira Pharmaceuticals has moved to acquire pain-relief device developer Myoscience in a deal worth up to $220 million. The specialty pharma plans to fold Myoscience’s Iovera device system into its nonopioid painkiller portfolio—with the goal of developing a multimodal regimen with Exparel, a bupivacaine formulation that acts as a local, long-term analgesic following surgery.
Myoscience’s pain-blocking approach consists of an outpatient procedure where targeted nerves are frozen using a super-cold needle—brought down to about -88° C with liquid nitrous oxide in a handheld device—to immediately interrupt pain signalling and provide relief for at least three months as the nerve fibers regenerate over time.
“This agreement represents an exciting accomplishment for the Myoscience team, and is good news for patients and physicians,” Myoscience President and CEO Timothy Still said in a statement. “We are confident that Pacira is the ideal organization to bring this technology to more physicians and their patients in need of effective non-opioid pain relief.”
Under the deal, Pacira will pay $120 million in cash upfront, plus an additional $100 million linked to commercial and regulatory milestones.
The two companies hope to close the deal by early April—with Pacira planning to change its name to Pacira BioSciences—to reflect its jump into medtech, and with Myoscience becoming Pacira CryoTech and operating as a wholly owned subsidiary.
“We believe the Iovera system has significant growth opportunity given the key role it can play in the management of pain associated with both orthopedic surgery and persistent orthopedic conditions such as osteoarthritis,” said Pacira Chairman and CEO Dave Stack in a statement.
“We will be working to leverage our strong commercial infrastructure, partnership network, including our substantial commercial collaboration with Johnson & Johnson, and deep domain expertise to drive widespread adoption of this exciting treatment,” Stack added.
Myoscience also recently launched new delivery hardware for its Iovera device, the Smart Tip 309, which the Fremont, California-based company says opens up its nerve-freezing treatment to a much broader population.
The FDA has cleared the Iovera system for relieving osteoarthritis knee pain for up to 90 days, and has been used to treat at least 20,000 patients, according to the company. The new tip includes a trio of longer microneedles, designed to generate a larger cold zone and treat superficial, peripheral nerves in more patients, including those with a higher body-mass index.