Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Meda to acquire a respiratory company in the US

Meda is to acquire the US development company Acton Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Acton”) for upto $200m.  Meda will pay $135m upfront, while the rest would be contingent on milestones (sales and regulatory). The primary product in Acton portfolio is Aerospan, which is an inhaler for the treatment of asthma that contains the active substance Flunisolide. The product is approved by the FDA and has shown in clinical studies to have a high deposition of active drug in the airways as a result of a built-in inhalation chamber (called a “spacer”).  Aerospan is intended to be launched in the US in 2014, while launch in other major markets will be done subsequently.

Acquisition Rationale

Meda which is already promoting Dymista, - a nasal spray for the treatment allergy rhinitis is seeking cost synergies in the transaction. Meda will be leveraging its Dymista sales force for the promotion of Aerospan.

In a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study, published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, Aerospan show no significant negative effect on linear growth in children with asthma. This is an important feature of the Aerospan product. FDA has recently approved the addition of data from this study in the prescribing information.

The launch of Aerospan is planned to the beginning of 2014. The total US market for inhaled asthma products containing a mono-corticosteroid is estimated at 2 billion USD. The use of spacers is increasing very rapidly. In some markets, more than one third of patients who use inhaled corticosteroids also use a spacer.  Aerospan is the only product registered in the US market with a built-in spacer. Meda’ s target is to reach a minimum of 2 billion SEK in sales within 5 years.

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