Inspire Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ISPH) announced that DIQUASTM Ophthalmic Solution 3% (diquafosol tetrasodium) received pricing approval and was launched for sale today in Japan by its partner, Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. Inspire will receive a related milestone payment of $1.25 million in the fourth quarter of 2010 and is also entitled to receive payments based upon a tiered royalty rate on net sales of DIQUAS in Japan, with a minimum rate in the high single digits and a maximum rate in the low double digits.
"We are pleased that DIQUAS is now available as a new treatment option for dry eye patients in Japan," said Adrian Adams, President and CEO of Inspire. "We are completing this year with continued strong operational momentum. In addition to the DIQUAS launch and milestone payment, as a result of our prudent cash flow management throughout 2010, we recently paid off our term loan facility and expect to end the year with a strong balance sheet with no debt. This provides a solid foundation as we enter a potentially transformational year in 2011, beginning with the anticipated first quarter release of results from TIGER-2, our second Phase 3 trial of denufosol tetrasodium for cystic fibrosis."
Pursuant to an agreement between the companies, Santen may develop and commercialize diquafosol tetrasodium for the therapeutic treatment of ocular surface diseases, such as dry eye disease, in Japan and nine other Asian countries. Diquafosol tetrasodium is currently in Phase 3 clinical testing by Santen in China.