Preclinical protein platform play Envoy Therapeutics got taken out by Takeda this week for up to $140 million. That magical “up to” typically hides a multitude of sins, but here that may not be the case.
Diekman said the board originally bargained hard to get paid entirely upfront but, once they realized Takeda had solely preclinical milestones in mind, they were happy to relent. Comps for the deal are hard to find; there haven’t been any disclosed acquisitions of preclinical companies this year that paid cash and had the potential to be worth over $100 million, according to our deals database.
He noted 5AM Ventures planned to put $20 million total into Envoy and said, “If there’s anything we don’t like, it’s that we didn’t get enough money into the company."
“Takeda was an investor from the beginning and saw the technology. They did a deal with us, discovering a number of compounds. They watched the technology and saw how good it was and where it was going. And they wanted more,” said Diekman.
Sun Pharmaceutical/Dusa Pharmaceuticals: India’s largest drug maker by market cap, Sun Pharmaceutical, acquired U.S.-based specialty dermatology company Dusa Pharmaceuticals, a step it said will help build a global specialty dermatology business. The deal valued Dusa at $230 million, which translates to about 4x sales and 36x annualized after-tax profits based on 1H12 figures. Sun marked the deal as a departure from the company’s usual strategy, which is to acquire distressed assets. Also, Sun struck a conservative agreement that gives it market depth compared to a jump in its top-line. In an earlier interview, Sun Pharma Managing Director Dilip Shanghvi tempered expectations of any large deals. Dusa drew most of its $45 million revenues last year from Levulan, a single drug-device combination therapy for treatment of non-hyperkeratotic actinic keratosis, or AKs, of the face or scalp. Actinic keratosis is a common precancerous skin condition caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet light and made up of rough, dry, tan- or pink-colored blemishes that often appear on facial skin or other skin exposed to sunlight. Founded in 1991, Dusa had a long gestation and only turned profitable in 2010. In addition to Levulan, it sells Blu-U, a blue light device used to treat moderate inflammatory acne vulgaris and general dermatological conditions. With the acquisition, Sun said it expects to provide about five million treatments per year in the U.S. Shanghvi pegged the market at well over $1 billion, adding that the cost of treatment is a factor for the number of treatments received.-- Vikas Dandekar