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The Clinical Trials Industry’s Weekly News Update

CRO SNBL re-acquires nasal migraine drug developer Satsuma Pharmaceuticals

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Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories (SNBL) has agreed to buy Satsuma Pharmaceuticals, a drug-device combination developer it spun out a few years back.

The deal will see the Japan-based preclinical and clinical contractor take on the launch of Satsuma’s most advanced product – STS101 – which is a combined nasal powder formulation and delivery device designed to treat migraine.

SNBL president Ryoichi Nagata said “We are very pleased to announce that SNBL will be involved in the launch of this novel intranasal drug, which was developed based on SNBL’s novel intranasal drug delivery platform technology, pending potential FDA approval.”

Nagata added that the merger was consistent SNBLs “corporate mission ‘to support drug discovery and the advancement of medical technology to relieve human suffering. We look forward to STS101 potentially becoming a treatment option for people with migraine as soon as possible.”

Satsuma spun out of SNBL in 2017 stating that it wanted to “accelerate development” of STS101. A few years later the firm released promising Phase I which it said suggested the STS101 may exhibit robust clinical performance.

More recently the news has been less positive, notably last November when Satsuma announced STS101 had failed to meet primary endpoints including freedom from pain when compared to placebo two hours after administration.

At the time the firm said it planned to submit and NDA for STS101 in the first quarter of 2023 – which it completed in March – and that it was working to secure a commercialization partner.

Satsuma CEO John Kollins referred to the ongoing development of STS101 in comments about the SNBL deal.

“After carefully and comprehensively considering strategic options for Satsuma and STS101, the Satsuma Board of Directors believes that the acquisition of Satsuma by SNBL is the best strategic alternative for Satsuma and that this transaction will maximize value for our stockholders.”

He added “We are pleased that SNBL shares our vision that STS101 has the potential to become an important and widely-prescribed acute treatment for migraine that can address the significant unmet needs of many people with migraine.”


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