SkyePharma says it had signed a deal with Mundipharma for the marketing and distribution of its pain drug, DepoBupivacaine (bupivacaine), in return for payments of up to $80 million dollars.

Specifically, Mundipharma will be able to market the product in Europe and various other international markets, excluding the USA, Canada and Japan. Mundipharma is already SkyePharma’s European marketing partner for DepoCyte (cytarabine), for the treatment of lymphomatous meningitis – a serious and potentially fatal complication of cancer.

Under the agreement with Mundipharma, SkyePharma will receive $10 million on signature, as well as up to $20 million towards the cost of the Phase III clinical trials necessary to gaining regulatory approvals, and additional milestones dependent on various development milestones, marketing approvals and sales targets. SkyePharma will also receive a 35% share of Mundipharma’s sales of DepoBupivacaine in Europe (30% in other territories), out of which SkyePharma will bear the cost of manufacture.