Adolor shares jump on Pfizer pain-drugs deal
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Pfizer Inc <PFE.N> said on Wednesday it will develop two pain drugs with Adolor Corp <ADLR.O> and pay its tiny partner $32 million upfront and up to $233 million if certain milestones are met, sending Adolor shares 15 percent higher.
One of the Adolor drugs, ADL5859, is in mid-stage trials for pain tied to rheumatoid arthritis and acute post-dental surgery pain. The experimental compound is also slated to undergo trials among patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy -- nerve damage in the extremities -- and among patients with osteoarthritis.
Adolor expects to begin early-stage clinical testing of the other drug, ADL5747, in the first quarter of 2008.
Pfizer already sells several pain medicines, including Lyrica for neuropathic pain, and Celebrex for arthritis.
In the United States, Pfizer will split revenues and expenses with Adolor on a 60-40 basis. Outside the United States, Pfizer will fund development activities and Adolor will receive royalties on Pfizer sales.
The products are known as Delta opioid receptor agonists and have the potential to treat a wide range of inflammatory, neuropathic and acute pain conditions, the companies said.
"In addition, Delta agonists are thought to modulate other biological processes that may manifest themselves in disease states or conditions such as cardio-protection, overactive bladder, and depression," the companies said in a release.
Adolor was up 58 cents to $4.33 in morning activity on the Nasdaq, having earlier risen as much as 37 percent in pre-market electronic trading. Pfizer rose 27 cents, or 1.15 percent, to $23.74 on the New York Stock Exchange, amid moderate gains for the drug sector.
(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf and Ransdell Pierson; Editing by Derek Caney and Dave Zimmerman)