Veloxis, Athena ink deal for pill combining 2 heart disease drugs

Danish drug developer Veloxis Pharmaceuticals has inked a deal with Athena Drug Delivery Solutions to develop a version of its dyslipidemia drug for emerging markets.

Dyslipidemia is a metabolic disorder that can involve the overproduction of lipoproteins—too much fatty substances—that sit in the blood and cause heart disease and other ailments. AtorFen (fenofibrate-atorvastatin fixed dose combination), which has been developed through Phase II in the U.S., combines two dyslipidemia treatments in one tablet, with the idea of improving compliance for taking the treatment.

Results up to that point have shown the combined drug as working more effectively than either pill does separately, Veloxis said in a statement announcing the partnership.

Financial terms were not disclosed. But Athena, a specialty pharma company with operations in India, France and elsewhere, gains the right to develop, register and commercialize AtorFen. Athena will also manufacture the drug in India. Veloxis, on the other hand, gets to keep 70% of all revenues generated by the drug, subjected to a minimum royalty rate, and keeps the right to market the drug in areas where Athena isn't working with third-party distributors.

Scientists in recent months have tested the use of one-time gene therapy to reduce lipid levels in the blood, with some potential. Sanofi has also made progress with lipid-lowering drugs in Phase II trials.

- here's the release

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