Depomed acquires pain candidate for $25M as it fends off Horizon's hostile takeover

Depomed ($DEPO) agreed to pay $25 million to get its hands on a late-stage pain treatment from Germany's Grünenthal dubbed Cebranopadol. "Cebranopadol is a first-in-class drug candidate due in large part to its unique ability to bind with high affinity to not only classical opioid receptors, but also the nociceptin/orphanin FQ peptide, or NOP, receptors which may offer improved management of some pain states with decreased side effects. Indeed NOP agonists have been shown to have a broad range of effects, and balanced agonist activity at the NOP and mu receptors may result in an improved safety profile--reduced tolerance and reduced risk of respiratory depression versus mu agonist activity alone," said Frank Porreca, professor of pharmacology and anesthesiology at The University of Arizona College of Medicine at Tucson. The moves came just days before Horizon Pharma ($HZNP) abandoned its hostile attempt at taking over the company. More from FiercePharma | More from FierceBiotech