Health Care Deal News: Spotlight on Biotechnology- June 2012

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) is entering into an agreement with Action Pharma A/S to develop and commercialize Action’s AP214, a compound to prevent acute kidney injury associated with major cardiac surgery. Under terms of the deal, ABT will pay Action, a company based in Denmark, $110.0 million upfront. ABT is then responsible to fund future development and commercialization activities. No later milestone payments or royalties are to be paid. This agreement will enhance ABT’s late-stage pipeline in the renal care space. AP214 is a hormone analogue that targets systemic inflammation and cellular death caused by hypoxia that can occur during surgery. Building on previous clinical studies, ABT plans to initiate an additional phase 2b study this year.

Another Danish company, Novo Nordisk A/S (NYSE: NVO), is entering into a development and license agreement with Caisson Biotech, LLC, for its proprietary heparosan-based drug delivery technology. Based in Seattle, Washington, Caisson is backed by Emergent Technologies. Under terms of the deal, NVO is to make an undisclosed upfront payment and R&D payments, as well as milestone payments on clinical, regulatory and commercial targets. The total deal value is potentially over $100.0 million. Royalties on sales are also stipulated in the agreement. This deal gives NVO a new technology platform for drugs in proprietary areas. Caisson’s technology utilizes a natural sugar polymer that is stable and inert in the bloodstream, but is biodegradable inside cells. Its use can cloak, enlarge or protect a drug cargo, thereby potentially extending the drug’s half-life. The new compounds are to be developed within undisclosed therapeutic areas, although given NVO’s specialties, drugs for diabetes care are a strong possibility.

GlaxoSmithKline is acquiring Cellzome AG, a company with offices in Heidelberg, Germany, and Cambridge, England, that develops and advances proteomics technologies. GSK is paying approximately $99.0 million for the 80.2% stake it does not already own in Cellzome, which is to become part of GSK’s R&D organization. Its proteomics technologies may be used throughout the drug discovery process from screening to selectivity profiling of compounds. The price GSK paid for this stake implies a price of about $124.0 million for a 100% interest in the company.

Glaxo also obtained exclusive development and commercialization rights from Welichem Biotech (TSX: WBI) for its non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent, WBI-1001. The drug candidate is in phase 2 trials for the treatment of psoriasis and atopic dermatitis............Want to read more? Click here for a free trial to The Health Care M&A Information Source and download the current issue today