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Published on : Oct 14, 2015

Taro Pharma, Sun Pharmaceuticals’ U.S. subsidiary, has announced the procurement of Canada-based Zalicus Pharmaceuticals. The Canadian pharma company is involved in the production of Z944, a pain management drug candidate.

Taro pharma has paid Zalicus an amount of US$3.8 million in cash and issued a promissory note stating it will pay an equal amount with the maturity to the Canada-based pharma company on July 1st, 2017. Zalicus is a subsidiary of Epirus Biopharmaceuticals, a Boston-based pharma enterprise, focused on the production of biosimilar drugs.

On Oct 1st, 2015, Epirus had announced in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission of the U.S. that it had entered into a deal with Taro Pharma for the sale of all the shares of Zalicus, holding drug candidate Z944 and several other assets related to the drug. Prior to this, Epirus had a merger with Zalicus Pharma in July 2014.

An update on Z944 in 2014 suggested that it has successfully completed the Phase-1 clinical trials and was all set to go for the Phase-2 trials.

Epirus stated that it will be eligible for an additional payment of US$7.5 million if Taro Pharma chooses to develop the drug further and make the payment stated in the promissory note. Moreover, after achieving certain regulatory filings and gaining approvals, the payment may reach a value of US$30 million. According to sources, Taro has also agreed to pay around 5% royalty if the product gets commercialized across the globe.

This move of Sun Pharma is being seen as a robust step towards strengthening its market presence by including proprietary drugs in its portfolio and growing beyond its specialty in dermatology drugs.