Rejiggered M Pharmaceutical orlistat deal aims to end 'bullous eruptions'

M Pharmaceutical has penned a deal to acquire a new version of the aging antiobesity drug orlistat from privately owned Chelatexx. The Vancouver-based biotech has acquired C-103, a reformulation of orlistat, for an advance payment of $200,000, plus 10 million M Pharma shares, while a "low single-digit" royalty percentage will be paid to Chelatexx on net sales of the drug. Orlistat is currently marketed in prescription strength by Roche ($RHBBY) and in the lower OTC strength by Glaxo's ($GSK) Consumer Healthcare unit--but according to M Pharma, sales of the drug have fallen from their peak due to "uncomfortable and well-publicised" GI side effects. These include, according to the drug's safety profile, "bullous eruptions," fecal incontinence and gingival disorders, among a host of other side effects. The reformulation--patented by KY-based Chelatexx--is set to change all that by keeping the efficacy of the drug whilst minimizing--or completely getting rid of--many of these AEs. M Pharma said it was also in the process of raising up to $700,000 by placing new shares and warrants. Story