Avanir ends R&D agreements with Novartis, AstraZeneca

Avanir Pharmaceuticals announced that it has ended two drug development collaboration deals -- one with AstraZeneca and one with Novartis -- and is exploring the sale of certain assets. Novartis, which was developing inflammatory disease treatment AVP-28225 with Avanir, will further develop the compound on its own. Avanir will receive a milestone payment if the compound reaches the next stage of development. Avanir also said it would return to AstraZeneca the drug the companies were co-developing for cardiovascular diseases. Avanir would also return all related rights to AstraZeneca, Avanir said in a statement. Additionally, Avanir said it plans to exit its San Diego research facility later this year and move clinical development and support resources to its Orange County, CA headquarters. Avanir is also evaluating options including sale of several investigational compounds and its schizophrenia drug FazaClo, which contributed $6.3 million to Avanir’s sales in the first quarter.