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NPS regains rights to bowel drug from Takeda

NEW YORK (AP) -- NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Tuesday it is regaining the overseas marketing rights to its bowel drug Gattex and another product from Japanese drugmaker Takeda, and NPS shares surged in morning trading.

NPS is regaining rights to develop and sell the short bowel syndrome drug Gattex, which is also called Revestive, as well as a hormone drug called Preotact, in all countries. Preotact is approved in Europe as a treatment for post-menopausal osteoporosis, and NPS is trying to get it approved in the U.S. as a treatment for hypoparathyroidism under the name Natpara. NPS said it will also get assets related to the two products.

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. had the right to develop and market the drug in most countries other than the U.S. Takeda will get $50 million in NPS stock, and it can get a milestone payment of $30 million the first year that combined sales of the drugs exceed $750 million. NPS can choose to make that payment in cash or stock.

Shares of NPS Pharmaceuticals rose $1.54, or 17 percent, to $10.58 in morning trading.

The generic name of Gattex and Revestive is teduglutide. The drug is designed to treat short bowel syndrome, a potentially life-threatening chronic condition that prevents patients from absorbing nutrients from food. People with short bowel syndrome are prone to malnutrition, diarrhea and dehydration. Teduglutide is a pill taken once a day and it is intended to reduce the need for intravenous nutrition in adult patients.

Hypoparathyroidism is a deficiency of parathyroid hormone.

NPS is based in Bedminster, N.J. It licensed Preotact to Swiss drugmaker Nycomed in 2004, and Nycomed licensed Revestive in 2007. Takeda bought Nycomed in 2011.