Apricus Biosciences, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company advancing innovative medicines in urology and rheumatology, has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Ferring Pharmaceuticals to market Vitaros (alprostadil), its topical on-demand product for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED), in Latin American countries.
Under the terms of the agreement, Apricus will receive $2.25 million from Ferring in an upfront payment. Apricus is also eligible to receive up to $16 million in regulatory and sales milestone payments, in addition to royalties based on Ferring’s net sales of the product in the territory.
In exchange, Ferring will have the exclusive right to commercialize Vitaros in the territory, which covers Latin America, including certain Caribbean countries. Ferring will be responsible for obtaining all necessary regulatory approvals.
“We look forward to our collaboration with Ferring as they expand the regions in which Vitaros, the first and only topical on-demand treatment for erectile dysfunction, is available,” said Richard Pascoe, Chief Executive Officer of Apricus. “We are pleased that we have been able to license Vitaros in yet another important market outside of Europe as we seek to make Vitaros available to men with erectile dysfunction throughout the world who have yet to be treated satisfactorily.”
“We are excited by the opportunity to work with Apricus to commercialize Vitaros, an innovative product that complements Ferring’s existing portfolio,” said Michel Pettigrew, President of the Executive Board and Chief Operating Officer at Ferring. “Vitaros will provide an alternative treatment for men suffering from erectile dysfunction in Latin America, while also allowing us to strengthen our presence in the region.”
Vitaros is a new potential entrant into the ED treatment market, offering a range of benefits that make it appealing to a large number of patients. Vitaros is a topical ED cream that delivers rapid onset (generally 5-15 minutes), treatment duration of approximately one hour and a favourable safety profile. Vitaros’ local delivery provides an attractive alternative for many patients, but particularly those with complications that preclude them from using the orally delivered systemic treatments or who prefer to avoid the injectable forms of alprostadil.
According to IMS Health, the global ED market in 2014 was in excess of $6.7 billion annually. Outside of the United States, Vitaros has the potential to generate for Apricus more than $200 million in future milestone payments, as well as potential royalty revenue on net product sales. Moreover, Apricus intends to leverage Vitaros through additional licensing efforts in key markets in Asia.