Orion will pay an upfront payment of €15m to Jemincare, in addition to certain development, commercialisation and sales milestone payments, and tired royalties


Orion teams up with Jemincare for pain treatment drug. (Credit: Brett Jordan on Unsplash)

Finnish pharmaceutics company Orion has entered into an exclusive agreement with Jemincare to develop a novel non-opioid drug candidate for the treatment of pain.

Under the terms of the agreement, Orion will obtain exclusive rights to develop and market a potent and selective NaV 1.8 blocker for the treatment of acute and chronic pain.

It is allowed to market the drug worldwide, except in the Greater China area including mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

The company is fully responsible for its own development and marketing costs and will manufacture the products, including active pharmaceutical ingredients, for its markets.

Orion will pay an upfront payment of €15m to Jemincare, which would also receive certain additional development, commercialisation and sales milestone payments.

The company is also entitled to receive a tiered royalty ranging between 8% and 15%, based on the sales of the drug in future.

In addition, Orion will receive the ownership rights to certain key patent applications relating to the compound within its own territory.

Orion research and development senior vice president Outi Vaarala said: “We are excited about this agreement and are looking forward to taking this compound to clinical studies later this year.

“Pain is one of the most frequently reported reasons for a patient to visit a health care provider and it generates a significant societal burden in terms of health care utilisation and lost productivity.

“There is a high unmet need for new non-addictive treatment options with improved efficacy and safety profiles. NaV 1.8 channel is known pain transmission pathway and is thus a promising target for novel pain treatments.”

Pain Transmission is defined as a physiological process for the electrical activation of nociceptive sensory neurons.

The process involves the relay of information from peripheral tissues to the central nervous system and to the brain where pain perception takes place.

NaV 1.8 is an important sodium channel subtype that modulates impulsiveness of the pain fibres

Its role in pain transmission was confirmed in preclinical studies and was validated in acute and chronic pain clinical trials investigating selective NaV 1.8 blocking agent

Jemincare Pharmaceutical Group president Hong Liang said: “JMKX000623 is a potent and selective Nav1.8 blocker independently developed by Jemincare and we have received IND approval in China in March 2022.

“We are delighted to enter into collaboration with Orion Corporation to bring this promising therapy to benefit patients in the rest of the world. This is our second innovative therapy partnered globally.

“We look forward to work closely with Orion, a partner having rich experience in the development of therapeutics in neurology and pain area, to take this compound to clinical trials.”