Princeton, NJ (Sept. 24)—Reflecting a strategic interest in strengthening its position in biologics, Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) agreed to acquire the biopharmaceutical company Adnexus Therapeutics (Waltham, MA) for $430 million.
Adnexus is a developer of a proprietary class of biologics called "Adnectins," which are derived from fibronectin, an extracellular
protein that is naturally abundant in human serum. Fibronectin binds to other proteins using protein structures called targeting
domains. An Adnectin consists of a backbone of the natural amino-acid sequence of a certain domain of human fibronectin and
one to three targeting loops redirected to enable an Adnectin to specifically recognize a therapeutic target of interest,
according to the company. The Adnectins are generated using the company's "Profusion" proprietary protein-engineering system.
Adnexus says that although Adnectins and antibodies have targeting domains with three-dimensional shapes that resemble each
other, the amino-acid sequences of each protein class are distinctly different.
Under the deal, BMS will pay $430 million in cash for Adnexus. The net purchase price is $415 million after deducting Adnexus'
net-cash balance at closing. An earn-out structure could make BMS pay roughly $75 million more, in three increments of approximately
$25 million each, in the event that certain developmental and regulatory milestones are achieved. The closing of the transaction
is subject to customary regulatory approvals. Upon closing of the deal, Adnexus Therapeutics will become a BMS subsidiary
and will remain located in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Hamburg, Germany and South San Francisco, CA (Sept. 19)—Evotec and Renovis entered into a definitive agreement under which Evotec will acquire Renovis, a biopharmaceutical company, in a stock-for-stock
transaction valued at approximately $151.8 million. The merger is expected to create a global pharmaceutical company with
three clinical candidates, a late-stage preclinical pipeline focused on neurological and inflammatory diseases, and pro forma cash of approximately $175 million. The merged company will be called Evotec.
Pompey, France (Sept. 18)—Groupe Novasep is finalizing discussions to acquire PharmaChem Technologies (Grand Bahamas) for an undisclosed amount. The companies hope to combine Novasep's research and development capabilities
and technologies with PharmaChem's manufacturing capacity to produce pharmaceutical actives and intermediates. PharmaChem's
facility, based in Freeport, Bahamas, complies with current good manufacturing practices and is inspected by the US Food and
Huntsville, AL (Sept. 17)—Funds advised by Apax Partners agreed to acquire generics manufacturer and distributor Qualitest and Vintage Pharmaceuticals. The company produces tablets, capsules, liquids, suspensions, suppositories, creams, and ointments across a portfolio of
more than 160 products. It is currently ranked among the top ten suppliers of generic pharmaceuticals based on the total number
of prescriptions filled.
Franklin, MA and Durham, NC (Sept. 17)—Sontra Medical, a company focused on transdermal technology, and Echo Therapeutics, a privately held specialty transdermal therapeutics company, merged to form a single, publicly held company to operate under
the name Echo Therapeutics. The newly combined company will have corporate offices in Philadelphia and research and development facilities in Franklin,
Massachusetts, and Durham, North Carolina. Patrick T. Mooney and Shawn K. Singh, both formerly of Echo, will serve as chief
executive officer and interim president of the combined company, respectively. Harry G. Mitchell of Sontra will continue to
serve as chief operating officer and chief financial officer of the combined company.
Berlin (Sept. 14)—Bayer Schering Pharma officially completed the acquisition of Novartis's (Basel, Switzerland) biologics manufacturing facility in Emeryville, California. Bayer will manufacture its "Betaseron"
(interferon beta-1b) drug at the Emeryville site. The company maintains control of all manufacturing and process technology
used to produce Betaseron, a multiple-sclerosis drug, and has retained the employees who manufacture the product.