Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The term sheets were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Gilead soon would be there.
The VCs were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of 20x danced in their heads.
Though mamma's kerchief biz had a low market cap,
As reverse-merger shell we'd name it after a cat.
Viropharma/Meritage: Viropharma has paid $7.5 million up-front, and could pay $12.5 million more in development milestones, for the right to acquire Meritage Pharma at pre-set terms. We love a good option-to-buy around here. As we've seen before, they don't always work out, but as in the case of the recently abandoned Actelion/Trophos option, they can provide a good way to both finance development of a rare- or orphan-disease drug candidate as well as set up investors with a tidy if not home-run return. To wit, Meritage is pursuing development of oral budesonide against eosinophilic esophagitis, a chronic inflammatory condition for which no drug is approved. Phase IIb data from a pediatric study were presented in May 2011 at the DDW conference. The company, which emerged from the rubble of the once-promising pediatric specialty play Verus Pharmaceuticals, is narrowly focused around oral budesonide and backed by $30.5 million from Domain Associates, Laterell Venture Partners and the Vertical Group. Like Verus (and a large handful of other biotechs) it's the brain-child of founder, chairman and prolific entrepreneur Cam Garner. Following the completion of additional Phase II work, and once FDA has agreed on a Phase III plan for oral budesonide, Viropharma can opt to pay $69.9 million plus earn-outs to acquire the program. --CM
Baxter/Momenta: Baxter and Momenta said on Dec. 22 that they would team up to develop and commercialize follow-on biologics (that's biosimilars to some of you). Momenta gets $33 million up-front and up to