Pacira Pharmaceuticals has entered a definitive agreement to acquire medical technology company MyoScience for a total consideration of up to $220m.

The company will make an upfront payment of $120m followed by a further $100m when certain commercial and regulatory milestones are met.

Founded in 2005, Myoscience focuses on the development of targeted therapies to treat chronic pain. The company’s portfolio includes the iovera system, which offers non-opioid pain relief.

iovera uses a cryoanalgesia mechanism to deliver precise, controlled doses of cold therapy to a target nerves and prevent them from transmitting pain signals. Relief is said to be immediate and can last for three months. The system stops pain signal transmissions until the nerve regenerates and function is restored.

iovera is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to relieve pain and symptoms associated with osteoarthritis of the knee. The deal is anticipated to expand the device’s reach.

“We are offering healthcare providers an effective, non-opioid multimodal regimen that can help mitigate or even eliminate the use of opioids for managing pain.”

Myoscience president and CEO Timothy Still said: “We are confident that Pacira is the ideal organisation to bring this technology to more physicians and their patients in need of effective non-opioid pain relief.”

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Pacira Pharmaceuticals noted that the iovera system could reduce opioid consumption and reduce the amount of time patients would have to stay in hospital following surgery.

The company expects the device to complement its bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension product Exparel, a local analgesic given during surgery to control pain and used as an alternative to opioids for acute post-surgical pain.

The product uses the DepoFoam product delivery technology to encapsulate drugs and release them over the desired timeframe.

Pacira Pharmaceuticals chairman and CEO Dave Stack said: “By combining iovera with Exparel, we are offering healthcare providers an effective, non-opioid multimodal regimen that can help mitigate or even eliminate the use of opioids for managing pain before, during and after surgery.”

The acquisition, subject to customary closing conditions, is set to be completed in April this year. After closing, Pacira Pharmaceuticals plans to change its corporate name to Pacira BioSciences.