San Antonio-based Mission Pharmacal Company announced a licensing agreement to sell the U.S. marketing rights of the drug Thiola to New York-based Retrophin Inc. for an undisclosed sum.
Thiola is one of the two drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of cystinuria, a rare kidney disease that causes high levels of the amino acid cystine in the urine, as well as the formation of recurring stones in the kidney, urethra, and bladder.
Mission Pharmacal’s drug helps prevent kidney stones from forming in patients who are resistant to treatment with a modified diet and high-fluid intake, or patients who have had adverse reactions to the rival drug d-penicillamine.
According to Reuters, Retrophin now plans to raise the price of Thiola, currently sold for $4,000 a year per patient, as well as to increase the number of available doses and eventually develop an extended-release version. Retrophin’s Chief Executive Martin Shkreli revealed that Thiola will be priced closer to penicillamine, which costs $80,000 to $140,000. If this happens, Reuters adds, regulatory scrutiny may increase, especially given recent insurer concern over the rising cost of medicines.
Retrophin reported a revenue forecast of $30 million to $35 million for this year. For 2015, the company estimates its revenues will stand between $60 million and $70 million. Retrophin’s shares were trading at $11.17 as of June 5th at 16:00 EDT.