Allergan buying Vicept Therapeutics to get V-101 / Oxymetazoline


News today that Allergan are buying the privately held pharmaceutical company Vicept Therapuetics. The aim of many small startup companies is to be acquired by a larger company, Vicept telling us that “We believe Allergan is the best company to complete the development and make the therapy available to the clinical community and their patients, fulfilling our shared mission.”

Certainly this is good news for V-101, and rosacea sufferers as only a company with deep pockets can get  a new drug through the horrendously expensive New Drug Application Process.

Who are Allergan?

The new owners of V-101 are Allergan who are perhaps better known for making the dry eye treatment Restasis, Refresh artificial tears, and the product that was the genesis of Sansrosa – Alphagan P.

What is V-101?

V-101 is the in-development topical treatment for the redness of rosacea, that is based on Oxymetazoline. Oxymetazoline is the active ingredient in decongestant products like Afrin, Sudafed OM and Vicks Sinex as well as in eye drops like Visine LR.

A well known side effect of Visine is rebound redness, where continued use leads to the redness that you were originally treating. Extended usage of Afrin can also lead to rebound nasal congestion.

It isn’t yet clear what Vicept Therapeutics have done with the commonly available active ingredient Oxymetazoline to package it as palatable to the sensitive skin of rosacea sufferers. One clue appears to be the usage of “more selective for α1D-adrenoceptors are less prone to induce receptor desensitization than are α1A- or α1B-agonists” as found in the off the shelf products.

Press Release

Allergan, Inc. to Acquire Privately Held Dermatologic Company, Vicept Therapeutics

Vicept Therapeutics successfully completed a Phase II clinical development program of a novel topical cream for the treatment of the erythema of rosacea

– Acquisition strategically aligns with Allergan’s leadership position in medical dermatology and its pursuit of innovative therapies to address unmet dermatologic needs

MALVERN, Pa. & IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Vicept Therapeutics and Allergan, Inc. (NYSE:AGN) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for Allergan to acquire all of the outstanding shares and assets of the privately-held dermatology company. The agreement, estimated to close in the third quarter of 2011, includes a $75 million cash up-front payment by Allergan plus up to an aggregate of $200 million in payments payable by Allergan contingent upon achieving certain future development and regulatory milestones plus additional payments contingent upon acquired products achieving certain sales milestones.

Founded in 2009 and backed by Vivo Ventures, Fidelity Biosciences and Sofinnova Ventures, Vicept Therapeutics’ lead investigational product, V-101, is a topical cream for the treatment of the erythema (redness) associated with rosacea that has achieved positive results in two randomized, placebo-controlled Phase II studies.

“The two Phase II studies demonstrated the clinical potential of our lead product V-101 in Type I rosacea (Erythematous Rosacea), a dermatological problem for which there currently is no approved therapy,” said Dr. Neal Walker, President and CEO of Vicept. “We believe Allergan is the best company to complete the development and make the therapy available to the clinical community and their patients, fulfilling our shared mission.”

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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