Helping people breathe easy and sleep properly are the core of Sunovion. The pharmaceutical company focuses its drug development efforts in two main therapeutic categories: respiratory and central nervous system (CNS) disorders. Among its marketed products are asthma drug Xopenex, insomnia therapy Lunesta, schizophrenia treatment Latuda, and Brovana, a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) treatment. Sunovion markets its products to primary care physicians and some specialists in the US. Sunovion is a subsidiary of Japanese firm Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma (DSP).
Sunovion, which boasts a Japanese parent, is based in the US and serves physicians nationwide.
The company's portfolio of brands includes Aptiom, Latuda, Lunesta, Xopenex, Brovana, Zetonna, and Alvesco.
Sales and Marketing
Sunovion markets its products to primary care doctors and such specialists as allergists and sleep doctors. Its main customers are drug wholesalers McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen; the company also sells directly to pharmacy chains and home health care firms.
While Sunovion traces its roots back to 1984, the company reached profitability as recently as 2005, the year it introduced Lunesta. Each year Lunesta became more important to the company's sales, and by 2009 accounted for about half of its revenue. Looking to expand Lunesta outside of North America and into Asia, Sunovion agreed to be purchased by DSP in 2009. (The company had already been pursuing regulatory approval for Lunesta in international markets through partnerships with other drugmakers.)
To ensure its long-term success, Sunovion also develops new drugs (and improves on already-marketed ones) in its focus areas of respiratory disease and CNS disorders. Drug candidates in the works include possible treatments for depression and anxiety. Sunovion began marketing Latuda, which treats schizophrenia, in 2011 in the US and Puerto Rico. Indeed, in 2013 Latuda was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of adult patients with depressive episodes associated with bipolar depression, both as monotherapy and as an adjunctive therapy with lithium or valproate. Also in 2013, the FDA approved Sunovion's Aptiom tablets, an antiepileptic drug, for use as adjunctive treatment of partial-onset seizures.
In 2014 Sunovion partnered with Afraxis to leverage the enhanced spin platform the company developed as a way to speed Sunovion's preclinical CNS drug discovery process.
Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures
Sunovion strengthened its respiratory product offerings with the late 2012 purchase of Elevation Pharmaceuticals, which has been renamed Sunovion Respiratory Development. It paid $100 million (and agreed to milestone payments of up to $330 million) for the firm, which is developing a treatment for moderate to severe COPD.
Looking to give its Xopenex inhaler legs, Sunovion in 2014 inked an agreement to sell certain rights to the short-acting bronchodilator to Akorn for $45 million.