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Aytu BioScience gains on licensing deal to distribute sleep aid outside the US and Canada

The deal calls for SUDA Pharmaceuticals of Perth, Australia, to lead commercial development and sublicensing efforts for ZolpiMist in Europe, Asia and Latin America
A woman sleeping
The company assumed the sleep aid licensing agreement from Magna Pharmaceuticals

Aytu BioScience Inc (NASDAQ:AYTU) strengthened Wednesday after announcing a licensing agreement to distribute its ZolpiMist oral spray sleep aid outside the US and Canada.

The arrangement calls for SUDA Pharmaceuticals Ltd of Perth, Australia, to lead commercial development and sublicensing efforts for ZolpiMist in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Aytu, based in Englewood, Colorado, has assumed a perpetual, exclusive global licensing agreement with SUDA from Magna Pharmaceuticals, the former new drug application (NDA) holder of ZolpiMist.

Shares of the company surged 32% to $1.45 in Wednesday’s Nasdaq trading.

READ: Aytu's first steps into $2B testosterone market

ZolpiMist is the only Food and Drug Administration-approved oral spray formulation of zolpidem tartrate, according to Aytu. In the US, zolpidem tartrate tablets are marketed under the brand name Ambien from Sanofi SA (NASDAQ:SNY).

''We are pleased to be partnering with SUDA as they develop ZolpiMist commercial opportunities around the world,” Aytu CEO Josh Disbrow said in a statement.

SUDA, a drug delivery company focused on oro-mucosal administration, has already signed sublicensing agreements in key markets with large, multinational drug companies and has agreements in place in China, Chile, Brazil and throughout Southeast Asia.

Under their deal, SUDA will pay Aytu a portion of each upfront and milestone payment received from sublicensees, and Aytu will receive ongoing royalty payments on sales generated by SUDA's sublicensees as ZolpiMist is launched in various territories.

SUDA CEO Stephen Carter said the company “has a number of discussions in place to further the global footprint of the ZolpiMist brand.”

Contact Dennis Fitzgerald at [email protected]

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