Swiss-based Actelion Pharmaceuticals agreed to pay up to $70 million for the privilege of developing and marketing Xiaflex, an Auxilium Pharmaceuticals biologic treatment that's FDA-approved to treat Dupuytren's contracture, a hand deformity caused by knots in the connective tissue underneath the skin.
For $10 million upfront, plus milestone payments of up to $59.5 million, not to mention double-digit sales royalties, Actelion will gain the rights to Xiaflex in Canada, Australia, Brazil and Mexico. Under the deal, the company can commercialize and market Xiaflex for Dupuytren's contracture and another potential indication in Peyronie's disease in those countries. Auxilium is also developing the drug for frozen shoulder syndrome and to reduce cellulite.
The Xiaflex deal follows another marketing arrangement set up by Actelion this week. The company's Canadian unit will take over commercialization of Theratechnologies' product tesamorelin, a treatment for excess abdominal fat in HIV patients with lipodistrophy. Actelion will handle regulatory approval and launch in Canada. The drug is already on the market in the U.S.