Friday, September 28, 2018
Dova Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on acquiring, developing, and commercializing drug candidates for diseases where there is a high unmet need, and Salix Pharmaceuticals (“Salix”), one of the largest specialty pharmaceutical companies in the world committed to the prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal diseases and its parent company, Bausch Health Companies Inc., today announced that they have entered into an exclusive agreement to co-promote Dova’s DOPTELET (avatrombopag) in the United States (U.S.). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") approved DOPTELET on May 21, 2018 for the treatment of thrombocytopenia in adult patients with chronic liver disease (CLD) who are scheduled to undergo a procedure. DOPTELET represents the first thrombopoietin (TPO) receptor agonist approved in the United States for this indication.
Thrombocytopenia, a condition in which patients have a low platelet count, is the most common hematological abnormality in patients with CLD that often worsens with the severity of liver disease. It is estimated that approximately 15 percent of the 7.5 million patients with CLD have some form of thrombocytopenia. In a study published in 2010, patients with severe thrombocytopenia (<75,000/µL) had a 31 percent incidence of procedure-related bleeding. As a result of the associated increased rate of bleeding, there is an increased risk for the CLD patient when undergoing common scheduled medical procedures such as liver biopsy, colonoscopy, endoscopy, and routine dental procedures.
As part of the co-promotion arrangement, Salix intends to deploy approximately 100 sales specialists who will promote DOPTELET to gastroenterology healthcare professionals. The Salix sales force will begin selling DOPTELET in mid-October 2018. Dova will continue its commercial efforts targeting primarily hepatologists and interventional radiologists and certain other specialties. Pursuant to the agreement, Dova will pay Salix a quarterly fee based on net sales (as defined in the agreement) of DOPTELET prescribed by gastroenterologists in the U.S.
“We are delighted to be working with Salix, a company considered by many to have the preeminent gastroenterology sales force in the United States,” said Alex C. Sapir, president and chief executive officer, Dova Pharmaceuticals. “Given Salix’s presence and strong reputation within large gastroenterology group practices coupled with the early interest we are seeing among the gastroenterology community, we are excited to see the impact this partnership will bring to DOPTELET and to patients.”
“Salix considers liver disease a strategic therapeutic area of focus, given our history and knowledge with XIFAXAN® (rifaximin), an innovative medicine indicated for the treatment of overt hepatic encephalopathy (HE), a condition that is often a consequence of chronic liver disease,” said Mark McKenna, president, Salix Pharmaceuticals. “Adding DOPTELET to our portfolio will enable our sales force to promote yet another innovative product that addresses a true unmet need in the marketplace.”