San Diego drugmaker Sorrento Therapeutics Inc. has closed its acquisition of Pennsylvania-based Scilex Pharmaceuticals.
Sorrento acquired about 72 percent of the outstanding common stock of Scilex for a net price of $47.6 million in cash and stocks, according to a Sorrento news release. Under the terms of the deal, Sorrento paid 10 percent of that total upfront, and will pay another 10 percent upon completion of certain milestones, and the remaining 80 percent if Scilex’s lead product candidate is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Scilex is developing ZTlido, a lidocaine patch under development for the treatment of postherpetic neuralgia, a complication of shingles caused by the chickenpox virus. The condition affects nerve fibers and skin, causing burning pain that lasts long after the rash and blisters of shingles disappear.
Scilex originally filed a New Drug Application with the FDA in July 2015, but it was rejected. The company met with the FDA since and has clarified a path to resubmit the application. If all goes well this time around, the drug might be approved in the second half of 2017.
Itochu Chemical Frontier Corp., a member of Itochu Corp., a Fortune Global 500 company and one of the three leading general trading companies in Japan, is continuing as a 23 percent owner of Scilex.
"The acquisition of a majority of Scilex significantly enhances Sorrento's late stage pipeline and footprint in the treatment of acute and chronic inflammation and pain,” said Henry Ji, president and CEO of Sorrento, in a statement. "Through this acquisition, we have also fostered a strong relationship with Itochu Corp., a leading Japanese company with $45 billion in annual revenues. We look forward to working together with our new business partner to drive the future of this franchise."