Sunovion Pharmaceuticals has entered an agreement with Covis Pharma to divest the U.S. market rights of a series of products based on ciclesonides approved for the treatment of asthma and allergic rhinitis.
Ciclesonides are in the corticosteroids class of medications. Corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory drugs used in the treatment of several pulmonary conditions.
Sunovion’s products included in the agreement, all for adults and children 12 years and older, are Alvesco inhalation aerosol indicated for the treatment of asthma, and Omnaris nasal spray and Zetonna nasal aerosol indicated for the treatment of allergic rhinitis.
Alvesco, Omnaris and Zetonna were licensed from Takeda GmbH by Sunovion in 2008. Alvesco and Omnaris were launched in the United States in 2008, while Zetonna reached the U.S. market in 2012.
According to Sunovion, with this agreement, the company will be able to focus its research and drug development on therapies for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
“With the divestiture of asthma and allergy products, Sunovion is reinforcing its strategic focus on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the respiratory area. Sunovion has the broadest COPD portfolio in the U.S., offering both handheld and nebulized treatment options that can be tailored to individual needs,” Nobuhiko Tamura, chairman and CEO of Sunovion, said in a press release.
Sunovion has exclusive market rights for three U.S. FDA-approved drug therapies for the treatment of COPD: Utibron Neohaler (indacaterol and glycopyrrolate), Seebri Neohaler (glycopyrrolate), and Arcapta Neohaler (indacaterol). These are used in the long-term maintenance therapy of airflow obstruction in COPD and can improve lung function in patients.
“We are committed to working closely with Covis Pharma to ensure a smooth transition of the divested products. Sunovion is well-positioned to continue to advance our robust respiratory portfolio and help people with serious medical conditions.” Tamura added.
Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, Covis Pharma is a global specialty pharmaceutical company marketing therapies for patients with chronic illnesses. The company plans to ship all products immediately after closing the transaction with Sunovion so that access is not interrupted. The transaction is expected to close during the first half of 2017, after all conditions are fulfilled.
“We are excited to announce this transaction and look forward to engaging with patients, physicians and customers in the continued support of these important products as we build out our respiratory franchise,” said Michael Porter, Covis Pharma’s CEO.