Spanish drugmaker FAES Farma of Spain licensed North American rights to bilastine, an oral non-sedating antihistamine compound in Phase III for the treatment or prevention of allergic rhinitis, to USA-based Inspire Pharmaceuticals.

Under the terms of the agreement, Inspire has acquired exclusive rights to further develop and commercialise oral formulations of bilastine in the USA and Canada, as well as the exclusive right to develop an ophthalmic formulation in various markets worldwide.

Inspire already sells an ophthalmic antihistamine, Elestat (epinastine), and is developing an intranasal formulation of the drug, so adding oral bilastine to its portfolio rounds out its range of antihistamine products. It believes the new addition could in time achieve peak sales of around $200 million in its licensed territories.

The agreement provides that Inspire will pay FAES an upfront license fee of $7 million and up to an additional $82 million, contingent on the achievement of various development, regulatory and sales milestones. Inspire will also pay a royalty of 14%-16% on net sales of the oral formulations of bilastine in the USA and Canada, if approved by regulatory authorities.