Pfizer hooks developer of ADHD extended-release drug in $680M deal

Pfizer ($PFE) has gained access to the U.S.' first once-daily liquid attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) treatment by acquiring NextWave Pharmaceuticals in a deal that could be worth up to $680 million. The deal value breaks down to an upfront payment of $255 million and up to $425 million based on certain sales milestones, and should close by the end of this year. It follows an option and merger agreement between the two companies in the second quarter, when NextWave received a $20 million option payment.

The drug, Quillivant XR, is an extended-release formulation of methylphenidate, the active drug in Ritalin, and was developed by NextWave in partnership with Tris Pharma, using Tris Pharma's OralXR+ platform. The FDA approved Quillivant XR in September, and the product should hit U.S. pharmacies in January.

Pfizer plans to add Quillivant XR to its established products business unit as part of its expansion strategy, and, according to Albert Bourla, president and general manager of the unit: "By combining the advantages of Quillivant XR with Pfizer's commercialization expertise, we will be able to provide ADHD patients and their caregivers a new treatment option."

NextWave has another oral extended-release methylphenidate formulation in its pipeline, a chewable tablet. NWP09 is in Phase III clinical trials, with an NDA submission planned for next year.

According to an article in Forbes, the growth in ADHD markets is in new delivery formulations for methylphenidate, a drug that has been available in the U.S. since 1955, rather than in completely new molecules, and Pfizer seems to be following this trend with its acquisition of NextWave.

- read the press release
- check out the article in Forbes
- here's FiercePharma's take