Sunday, June 9, 2013

AstraZeneca acquires Pearl Therapeutics to strengthen its Respiratory Business

AstraZeneca announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Pearl Therapeutics, a privately held company based in Redwood City, California, focused on the development of inhaled small-molecule therapeutics for respiratory disease.  AstraZeneca will pay $560m as initial consideration, while an additional payment of $450million would be contingent upon achievement of potential milestones.

The acquisition will give AstraZeneca access to a potential new treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), currently in late-stage development, and inhaler and formulation technology that provides a platform for future combination products.

Pearl's lead product, PT003, is a fixed dose combination of formoterol fumarate, a long-acting beta-2-agonist (LABA) and glycopyrrolate, a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA). LABA/LAMA combinations are expected to become an important new class of treatment for COPD.  A global Phase III programme has been initiated and will test the improvement in lung function in individuals with moderate to severe COPD in response to PT003. PT003 is delivered by inhalation via a pressurised metered dose inhaler (pMDI) using Pearl's novel co-suspension formulation technology. This technology platform will allow AstraZeneca to explore combinations of existing and novel technologies, including a triple fixed dose combination (LABA/LAMA and inhaled corticosteroid) which could be accelerated into Phase II clinical development. 

Transaction Valuation

Under the terms of the agreement, AstraZeneca will acquire 100% of Pearl's shares for initial consideration of $560 million payable on completion. In addition, deferred consideration of up to $450 million becomes payable if specified development and regulatory milestones in respect of any triple combination therapies and selected future products that AstraZeneca develops using Pearl's technology platform are achieved.