United Therapeutics Corporation paid Supernus Pharmaceuticals a $2 million milestone payment for the launch of United’s Orenitram Extended-Release Tablets for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in the United States.
A form of pulmonary hypertension, PAH is caused by the abnormal functioning of pulmonary artetires, which carry blood from the heart to the lungs. Although it has no cure, there are several treatment options, all with the same goal: to reduce the heart’s workload by allowing blood to flow more easily through the pulmonary arteries.
Orenitram is an extended release osmotic tablet for oral administration, and it is formulated as the diolamine salt of treprostinil, a tricyclic benzindene analogue of prostacyclin. The tablets are formulated in four strengths, which contain 0.125 mg of treprostinil, 0.25 mg of treprostinil, 1 mg of treprostinil, or 2.5 mg of treprostinil. Orenitram is indicated to improve exercise capacity and it is said to be the most useful to replace subcutaneous, intravenous, or inhaled treprostinil, according to a company press release.
United’s drug, which utilizes a Supernus patented technology platform, was approved by the FDA in December of last year, in a decision that surprised analysts’, since the FDA had already rejected the drug twice.
In addition to the launch milestone, Supernus will receive royalties on net sales of Orenitram, and may become entitled to additional milestone payments.
Jack A. Khattar, president and CEO of Supernus, is pleased with his company’s role in helping to bring Orenitram to patients and their physicians as an important new therapy. In addition, he expects to receive significant recurring royalty revenue from United Therapeutics’ commercialization of Orenitram, over the life of the product.