For a look the rest of the money that was spent in this week's biopharma deal activity, you need go no further than this week's edition of . . .
Inspiration/Cangene: French company Ipsen is finally free of U.S. partner Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals. Cangene has agreed to buy rights to IB1001, a recombinant factor IX (rFIX) for the treatment of hemophilia B, which FDA put on clinical hold in 2012. The deal, announced Feb. 6, completes the sale process of all Ipsen and Inspiration hemophilia assets and follows the Jan. 24 news that Baxter would buy the troubled biotech’s flagship hemophilia drug OBI-1 and related Boston manufacturing facility. Inspiration entered Chapter 11 protection at the end of October 2012 to restructure and find a buyer for its two main hemophilia products: OBI-1, a recombinant porcine factor VIII (rpFVIII) for treating hemophilia A with inhibitors, and IB1001. In return for global rights to IB1001, Cangene agreed to pay $5.9 million upfront and up to $50 million in potential additional commercial milestones, as well as net sales payments equivalent to a tiered double-digit percentage of IB1001 annual net sales. Meanwhile Baxter, in its transaction pact for OBI-1, will pay $50 million upfront, up to $135 million in potential additional development and commercial milestones as well as tiered net sales payments ranging from 12.5% to 17.5% of OBI-1 annual net sales. As Inspiration's only senior secured creditor and as the owner of non-Inspiration assets that will be included in the sale of both OBI-1 and IB1001, Ipsen will get some 60% of the overall upfront payments. Ipsen is clearly relieved to have found a buyer for IB1001 given the medicine’s shaky regulatory prospects after the FDA-imposed clinical hold on IB1001 impacted two ongoing phase III trials. Since Inspiration filed for bankruptcy protection, Ipsen has backed the biotech with $23.6 million in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing to keep it going amid efforts to sell its assets. Ipsen expects to cover the DIP amount with its share of upfront payments from the two asset sales with Baxter and Cangene. The French biotech may take a €100 million impairment charge for the hemophilia assets such as convertible bonds used to finance the collaboration and its investment in the Milford, MA plant. A fuller picture should come on Feb. 27 when Ipsen reports 2012 earnings. - Sten Stovall
Isotechnika /Aurinia: Isotechnika licensed out exclusive rights a year ago to its lead drug in a couple of indications and now it’s planning a merger to get it back. Last January, the Canadian company licensed rights to voclosporin to treat lupus and proteinuric nephrology indications to Vifor Pharma. Swiss specialty pharma Vifor subsequently spun out Aurinia with the asset. Isotechnika and Aurinia now are planning to merge under undisclosed terms with post-merger ownership of 60/40, respectively. The merged company will trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange and be known as Aurinia. Management will come from both companies. Aurinia’s management is primarily from Aspreva Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by the Galenica Group for C$915 million in 2008. Vifor is also part of the Galenica Group. The merger is expected to complete by March 15, pending approval from Isotechnika shareholders and the Toronto Stock Exchange as well as the raising of C$3 million by Isotechnika. The new company plans to start a Phase IIb study this year of voclosporin, in addition to standard of care, to treat lupus nephritis. - S.L.
Stacks of Euros photo courtesy of flickr user aranjuez1404.