Orion 'in negotiations' with Abbott on Simdax

Pharmaceutical Company Product News

Orion has published its latest position regarding Simdax (levosimendan), a drug candidate licensed by Abbott, reporting that it will consider paying some of the costs of an additional study into the compound.

The company is currently in negotiations with Abbott concerning the possibility of an additional phase III clinical trial of the substance, with the companies potentially sharing the costs of this study.

Orion reports that it is willing to pay 20 million euros (13.3 million pounds) worth of costs for the trials, conditional on acceptable prerequisites being agreed by both companies based on forthcoming consultation by the firms with the US Food and Drug Authority.

Levosimendan is a compound for the treatment of acute decompensated heart failure discovered by Orion, with Abbott taking over the development programme of the intravenously-administered form of the drug in April 2004.

"Due to the many still open questions concerning the scope and timelines of the possible study, the timings of the study and possible payments as well as the impact on Orion's cash flows can not be estimated at this stage," Orion reports.

The company adds that the agreement between the firms and the realisation of this new phase III clinical study are as yet uncertain.

Last week, Orion reported that a number of financial and structural matters including amendments to the company's articles of association and the proposal of a one euro dividend for the year would be discussed at its forthcoming annual general meeting in April.

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