Sunovion cashes in sublingual Parkinson's drug, selling EU rights to Bial

Sunovion Pharmaceuticals has found a taker for the European rights to sublingual Parkinson’s disease drug Kynmobi. Bial is on the other side of the deal, putting together an undisclosed financial package to secure rights for a treatment it plans to submit for approval by the end of the year.

Kynmobi is yet to make a big impression on the U.S. Parkinson’s market, racking up sales of around $1.8 million in the most recent quarter. Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, the Japanese parent company of Sunovion, expects sales to pick up somewhat in the coming quarters, though, leading it to forecast revenues of around $28 million for its current fiscal year.

With the drug in phase 3 development in Europe, Sunovion has generated additional cash from the product by offloading regional rights. Portugal’s Bial is making an upfront payment and committing to milestones to secure the rights. 

Having picked up the asset, Bial will handle the regulatory process. A filling for approval is planned by the end of the year. Sunovion will support commercialization of the product by supplying it at all approved doses to Bial.

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Kynmobi is a sublingual formulation of apomorphine, a Parkinson’s drug that is already available via injections and infusions. Sunovion developed a sublingual version of the dopamine agonist to make it easier for Parkinson’s patients who have stopped responding to other oral treatments to get rapid relief for impaired movement and improved control of motor symptoms.

At Bial, Kynmobi will slot into an existing portfolio of investigational and approved Parkinson’s drugs. Bial already provides Ongentys to prevent levodopa breakdown and acquired clinical-phase asset LTI-291 from Lysosomal Therapeutics last year. In a statement, Bial CEO António Portela called the addition of Kynmobi to the portfolio “an important step in our development strategy to expand Bial’s footprint in Europe.”