Scintilla Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a subsidiary of Sorrento Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: SRNE), is spending up to $270 million to expand its pain management pipeline.
On August 8, Scintilla announced its purchase of SCILEX Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for an upfront payment of $70 million. Scilex’s lead product candidate, ZTildo™ (lidocaine patch 1.8%) is being developed for the treatment of intractable cancer pain. In July 2015, SCILEX filed a new drug application (NDA) for ZTildo™, and is planning an NDA re-submission for a potential FDA action date in mid-2017. SCILEX’ product pipeline includes line extensions of ZTildo™ as well as other novel patch technologies in development. The patch technology can be adapted to other applications.
A week later, on August 15, Scintilla purchased Semnur Pharmaceuticals Inc., a portfolio company of Canaan Partners, Frazier Healthcare and Vivo Capital. Semnur, a specialty pharmaceutical company, focuses on the clinical and commercial development of non-opioid drugs to treat back pain. The price is $60 million, with the potential for up to $140 million in additional milestone payments. Semnur’s lead product is a non-opiate epidural steroid injectable to treat chronic back pain. It is expected to begin Phase 3 trials in 2017.
Following the closing of these two acquisition, Scintilla will operate as a stand-alone company focused on pain management.