Pacira Pharmaceuticals acquires med device company MyoScience in deal worth up to $220M

Dubbed iovera, MyoScience’s technology received FDA clearance in 2017 for treating the pain associated with osteoarthritis after knee replacement surgery.

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In a bid to expand its efforts in pain management, San Diego, California-based specialty pharmaceutical company Pacira Pharmaceuticals is spending up to $220 million to acquire MyoScience, a medical device company which has developed a non-opioid pain treatment therapy.

Dubbed iovera, MyoScience’s technology received FDA clearance in 2017 for treating the pain associated with osteoarthritis after knee replacement surgery. The cryotherapy technology works through a device that targets cold temperature to specific nerves which blocks pain signals from being sent to the brain.

No drugs, opioids or narcotics are used as part of the treatment, which can last up to 90 days before the nerve regenerates.

iovera will be added to Pacira’s existing pain management portfolio, which includes Exparel, a bupivacaine-based treatment with proprietary injection technology. Pacira is touting the use of both iovera and Exparel in combination as a multi-modal pain management therapy to reduce the use of opioids.

“We have the capability and the capacity to deliver iovera to more patients and accelerate growth in the short term while we develop additional procedural solutions,” Pacira CEO Dave Stack said in an investor call.

The company shared data showing that iovera patients requested 45 percent fewer opioid prescriptions and were in less pain 12 weeks after knee surgery.

Moving forward, Stack said Pacira will work on expanding the pain management solution for indications outside of the post-operative space and into the pre-operative and the acute pain setting, specifically mentioning athletes and sports teams as potential customers. The company also plans to expand indications in surgical settings to other musculoskeletal conditions.

Pacira will change its name to Pacira BioSciences to reflect its entry into the medical device industry and its growth past a single product company. In order to boost the growth of iovera, Pacira said it plans to apply for regulatory clearance in Canada and the EU by the end of the year.

“We are pleased to enter into this transaction and are confident that Pacira is the ideal fit to build the iovera franchise given their commitment to and proven track record of expanding patient access to non-opioid options,” MyoScience CEO Timothy Still said in a statement.

“This acquisition comes at a time when opioid abuse and addiction has reached epidemic proportions and alternative approaches to pain management are being mandated.”

The MyoScience deal also represents an effort by Pacira to bolster its pain management business as its competitor Heron Therapeutics moves towards regulatory clearance for its own bupivacaine-based pain therapy for postoperative care.

The companies said the acquisition is expected to close by early April and will consist of $120 million in upfront payments, with an additional $100 million based on meeting certain commercial and regulatory milestones through 2023.

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