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ViroPharma Purchases Exclusive Option to Acquire Meritage Pharma
Date:12/22/2011

iroPharma's intent to broaden our portfolio of development opportunities for rare and serious unmet medical needs," commented Vincent Milano, ViroPharma's president and chief executive officer. "Eosinophilic esophagitis is an emerging, rare condition that currently has no approved therapy. This disease profoundly affects the lives of these patients, causing stomach and chest pain and affecting their ability to swallow and eat normally. Over time, this disease can lead to malnutrition, significant weight loss, and potentially esophageal damage. We look forward to working with Meritage to advance the development of oral budesonide suspension toward the goal of one day providing a solution to treat this debilitating disease."

"We look forward to collaborating with ViroPharma to develop OBS to treat this serious disease," added Elaine Phillips, president and chief executive officer, Meritage. "Our goal is to ensure that this therapy is available for EoE patients and their caregivers as soon as possible."

Oral budesonide suspension was granted Orphan Drug Designation by the FDA in June of 2011 for the treatment of patients with eosinophilic esophagitis. Orphan drug designation entitles the developer to seven years of market exclusivity in the United States upon FDA approval of oral budesonide, provided that the company continues to meet certain conditions established by the FDA. Other potential advantages of Orphan Drug Designation include protocol assistance, the potential for priority review, tax credits, and other financial incentives.

Phase 2 Clinical Data (PEER Study)

A Phase 2 placebo controlled dose-ranging clinical trial in pediatric patients with EoE conducted by Meritage enrolled 82 patients with 71 completing therapy. Meritage evaluated OBS treatment by assessing histologic response (most notably the extent of esophageal eosinophilia) and clinical symptoms. Analyses of the compound primary endpoint, histologic response and r
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SOURCE ViroPharma Incorporated
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