Pfizer is giving back marketing rights in the European Union to Auxilium Pharmaceuticals for the contracted hand treatment Xiapex.

The US giant will hand over the rights to Xiapex (collagenase clostridium histolyticum), which is an injected treatment for Dupuytren's contracture by April 24 next year. The companies first teamed up in a deal which covered the EU, certain other European and Eurasian countries and could have been worth up to $485 million to Auxilium.

As a result of this "mutual decision to conclude the collaboration", Auxilium says it will recognise $94 million of deferred revenue and $9 million of deferred costs in the fourth quarter of 2012. Chief executive Adrian Adams said "we now have the strategic flexibility to evaluate all of our options" for the continuing commercialisation of Xiapex". It sells the drug in the USA as Xiaflex and it is also licensed out to Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp (Japan) and Actelion (Canada, Australia, Brazil and Mexico).

Posting its third-quarter financials, which showed that revenues increased  6% to $71.0 million and a net loss of $10.5 million (up from a loss of $4.1 million), Auxilium noted that US Xiaflex revenues were up 29%, though no specific figures were given. However, the firm said it expects full-year Xiaflex sales across the Atlantic of $65-$77 million and $153-$163 million globally.

Auxilium also announced that it has filed Xiaflex with the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of Peyronie's disease. The latter involves the development of collagen plaque, or scar tissue, on the shaft of the penis that hardens and reduces flexibility.