DURECT (DRRX) Inks Mega-Deal with Novartis’ (NVS) Sandoz to Develop Non-opioid Pain Drug

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Shares of DURECT Corp. (Nasdaq:DRRX) soared more than 46% to touch the $1.17 mark in early-trade Monday after the biopharmaceutical company said that it has reached a deal with Novartis(NYSE:NVS) division Sandoz AG to develop and market in the U.S. its investigational non-opioid pain relief drug, POSIMIR (SABER-Bupivacaine)

As part of the deal, DURECT will get from Novartis’ Sandoz a $20 million upfront payment, and up to $273 million in regulatory and sales-based milestones payments, as well as royalties on product sales in the U.S.

DURECT, which will remain responsible for the completion of its ongoing PERSIST late-stage study for POSIMIR as well as FDA interactions through approval, expects the deal to close by the second quarter of 2017.

DRRX stock is trading at $0.99, up $0.19 (or +23.80%) and 5.43M of its shares changed hands so far.

DURECT, which is actively developing new therapeutics based on its Epigenetic Regulator Program and proprietary drug delivery platforms, has 141.91M shares outstanding and DRRX stock 52-week range is between $0.74 and $2.00 per share.

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