Purdue Pharma recently announced its acquisition from VM Pharma LLC of VM-902A, a first-in-class, allosteric selective tropomyosin receptor kinase A (TrkA) inhibitor, as well as the backup compounds and associated intellectual property for the potential treatment of chronic pain. TrkA is a member of a larger family of important signaling proteins known as tyrosine receptor kinases. Selective inhibition of TrkA activation provides a new and attractive therapeutic approach to address pain symptoms.
Under the terms of agreement, VM Pharma received an upfront payment and could potentially receive development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments, which together with the upfront payment, could total up to $213 million, as well as royalties on potential sales of VM-902A.
The lead compound, VM-902A, is an orally bioavailable, peripherally-acting and allosteric inhibitor of protein kinase TrkA, the high affinity receptor of nerve growth factor (NGF). It is a novel compound with an unprecedented mechanism of action anticipated to offer strong, targeted efficacy for pain. Phase I clinical trials of VM-902A were successfully completed in 72 human subjects in single and multiple ascending dose trials.
“The TrKA mechanism and VM-902A specifically hold great promise in treating pain,” said Mark Timney, President and Chief Executive Officer, Purdue Pharma L.P. “This acquisition expands and diversifies our pipeline by adding a potentially innovative non-opioid, non-NSAID treatment to our portfolio.”
Purdue Pharma plans to progress the development of VM-902A immediately, with Phase II clinical trial enrollment starting in early 2016.