Pharma Focus Asia

Grunenthal Acquires Averitas Pharma and Establishes Commercial Footprint in the US

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Grünenthal announced today that it has acquired the US-based pharmaceutical company Averitas Pharma, thereby extending its commercial footprint to the United States. Averitas Pharma will be commercialising the pain patch Qutenza® (8 % capsaicin) for Grünenthal in the US. Grünenthal had only recently acquired the remaining global rights, including the US rights, for the product from Acorda Therapeutics.

"I am proud to say that we are now establishing our own commercial presence in the world's biggest pharma market, the US, for the first time," says Gabriel Baertschi, Grünenthal's Chief Executive Officer. "This acquisition is another important milestone in executing our growth strategy and expanding our business across multiple pain related therapeutic categories and geographies. Averitas Pharma is a perfect match due to its significant specialty pharma expertise in the US market and experience in different commercial models also beyond the typical 'reach and frequency' approach".

Averitas Pharma will be enhancing the commercial distribution model for Qutenza® towards a specialty pharmacy and hub services model that makes it easier for patients to access the product and support health care professionals in prescribing and applying it. "This will help us transitioning and ramping up the Qutenza® US business, bringing the product back on the growth path in the US," explains Gabriel Baertschi.

Qutenza® is a local analgesic and an alternative to the current standard of care, as there is still a high unmet medical need in pain management, particularly for non-opioid and non-systemic treatments. In Europe, it is approved for a broad peripheral neuropathic pain indication in adults, e.g. post-surgical neuropathic pain, cancer-related neuropathic pain and painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy. In the US, Qutenza® is currently only approved for the treatment of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). Averitas Pharma will work towards a broader neuropathic pain label from the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

Grünenthal continues executing its growth strategy and has been expanding its pain portfolio by a series of acquisitions including European rights to Nexium®, the global (ex US and Japan) rights to Vimovo®, the global rights to Qutenza® and global (ex Japan) rights to Zomig®. The company has signed deals with a total value of more than US$ 1.3 billion since 2016.

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