Auxilium Pharmaceuticals will get the right to sell Vivus' impotence drug Stendra in the U.S. and Canada as part of a deal between the two companies that could be worth more than $300 million.
The deal provides additional funding for Vivus, which is focused on its obesity drug Qsymia, and further expands the Chesterton, Pa., company's business. Auxilium makes Xiaflex, which treats a rare condition that affects the tendons of the hand, and a testosterone drug called Testim. Earlier this year Auxilium bought a urology drug company for $585 million.
The companies said Vivus will be responsible for initial manufacturing and supply of Stendra. Auxilium plans to start shipping the drug in December and will begin promoting it in January. Auxilium said it believes the deal will start adding to its net income in 2015.
Auxilium will make a $30 million upfront payment to Vivus, and it will make another payment of $15 million if regulators approve a label change that says some patients who take Stendra are able to have sex as little as 15 minutes after taking the drug. Vivus could get another $255 million if the drug reaches sales targets and it will get royalty payments on sales.
The Food and Drug Administration approved Stendra in April 2012, and Vivus has been talking to potential partners and buyers since then. The pill is intended to be taken 30 minutes before sex, but Vivus says that in clinical trials, some patients were able to have sex as little as 15 minutes after taking the drug. It wants the Food and Drug Administration to allow it to put that information on the label for Stendra.
Pfizer Inc.'s Viagra is supposed to be taken at least 30 minutes before sex.
Vivus is responsible for handling the proposed label change. The Mountain View, Calif., company still has the right to sell Stendra in most other countries. It plans to market the drug in Europe under the name Spedra through a partnership with Italian drugmaker Menarini.
In the second quarter Vivus Inc. filled 81,000 prescriptions for the obesity drug Qsymia. Revenue totaled $5.5 million, and sales have not lived up to Wall Street expectations in the year since the drug reached the market.
Vivus shares gained 75 cents, or 7.3 percent, to $11.06 in morning trading. Shares of Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc. rose 55 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $17.75.