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Vernalis Gives Partnering a Second Chance

Executive Summary

Vernalis has bought back rights to its Frova migraine treatment in North America from Elan, agreeing to pay $55 million over the next two years. Frova, sold there by Elan and UCB, had failed to reach even the most modest sales expectations. Now Vernalis plans to re-partner the drug, hoping a label-extension to menstrual-associated migraine lands it significantly better terms than its original 1998 deal with Elan. But Vernalis needs to raise money to complete the buyout, and the dynamics of the US migraine market suggest that until it can differentiate the drug on the basis of the MAM label, a huge primary care sales force would be necessary to gain a respectable share of the market.
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