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Sunovion to buy Elevation Pharmaceuticals in a deal with a $100m upfront payment

Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc., the Marlborough subsidiary of a Japanese drug company, has agreed to buy Elevation­ Pharmaceuticals Inc., a privately held company specializing in the development of aerosol therapies for patients with respiratory diseases.

Sunovion will make an upfront payment of $100 million to shareholders of California-based Elevation when the deal closes. The agreement also calls for milestone payments of up to $90 million if an Elevation Pharmaceuticals drug candidate achieves certain goals. If the drug candidate gets regulatory approval, Sunovion said it could make commercial milestone payments of up to $210 million. Subsequent payments up to $30 million could occur.

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An Elevation drug candidate referenced in the sales agreement is EP-101, a potential treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Sunovion, formerly Sepracor, was bought by Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma in 2009.

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