NeurogesX and Astellas Pharmaceutical have joined forces for the exclusive distribution, marketing and license agreement for the commercialisation of Qutenza in Europe.

The agreement follows close on the heels of a decision made by the European Commission to approve the Qutenza (capsaicin 179mg) cutaneous patch for the treatment of peripheral neuropathic pain in non-diabetic adults.

Under the terms of the agreement NeurogesX will receive $42m for Qutenza commercialisation rights, and approximately $7m for a license option of NGX-1998, the next-generation liquid formulation which uses the same active ingredient as Qutenza.

Astellas president and CEO Masao Yoshida said that the company is confident in the market potential for Qutenza given its safety and efficacy to provide site-specific pain management for up to 12 weeks.

“Leveraging our foothold in these territories with our strong sales and marketing teams and Qutenza’s product profile, we are positioning for a successful commercial launch that will introduce an important new product to patients with neuropathic pain,” Yoshida said.

NeurogesX CEO Anthony DiTonno said that securing an agreement with Astellas for the commercialisation of Qutenza in Europe and additional territories was a significant milestone for NeurogesX.