BioDelivery Sciences acquires North American rights to pain patch

BioDelivery Sciences International announced Tuesday that it has acquired the North American marketing rights for Onsolis, an oral pain patch for cancer patients, from the Swedish firm Meda AB.

Raleigh-based BioDelivery originally licensed the rights to Meda in 2007, and Onsolis was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2009.

The agreement with Meda allows BioDelivery seek new commercial partners for Onsolis in North America and to work with the FDA to bring the drug back on the market in the U.S.

Meda will share in the proceeds of any North American partnership that BioDelivery Sciences signs.

"BDSI is looking forward to the opportunity to secure a new commercial partner and in working directly with the FDA to move Onsolis back to the U.S. marketplace," Mark Sirgo, BioDelivery Science’s CEO, said in a statement.

Meda still retains the European commercialization rights for Onsolis, where it is sold under the name Breakyl. In Taiwan, where the drug was approved by regulators in 2013, the rights are licensed to TTY Biopharm, which markets the drug as Painkyl. In South Korea the drug is licensed to Kunwha Pharmaceutical Company.

BioDelivery has a number of treatments related to pain management and addiction in various stages of development.

In June, the FDA approved BioDelivery Sciences treatment for addiction to opioids such as OxyContin, morphine and heroin. The drug, Bunavail, is administered inside the cheek instead of being held under the tongue like the current leading treatment.

BioDelivery Sciences is also now conducting Phase 3 clinical trials for BEMA Buprenorphine, its experimental treatment for chronic pain.

The company’s shares were up about 2 percent in early trading Tuesday.