Lots of attention for ADHD
NEW YORK—Pfizer Inc. has announced its intent to acquire Cupertino, Calif.-based NextWave Pharmaceuticals, a privately held specialty pharmaceutical company specializing in developing products for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and related central nervous system disorders.
The two companies had previously entered into an option and merger agreement during the second quarter of the year, during which Pfizer made an option payment to NextWave of $20 million. Pfizer is now exercising its option to acquire NextWave. Per the terms of the agreement, Pfizer will pay NextWave’s shareholders $255 million at the close of the transaction, and the shareholders will also be eligible to receive up to an additional $425 million if certain sales milestones are met.
“NextWave has been focused on helping patients and families who struggle with the challenges of ADHD,” Jay P. Shepard, president and CEO of NextWave, said in a press release. “We are excited to partner with Pfizer, one of the most respected pharmaceutical organizations in the world, to bring the unique benefits of Quillivant XR to those affected by this challenging condition.”
Quillivant XR for extended-release oral suspension, CII, is the first once-daily liquid medication approved for the treatment of ADHD in the United States. Quillivant XR was developed by NextWave in collaboration with Tris Pharma, NextWave’s technology and manufacturing partner, and was developed on Tris Pharma’s OralXR+ platform. NextWave holds exclusive North American commercialization rights to the drug, which gained U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval on Sept. 27. The medication is expected to reach pharmacy shelves in January 2013.
NextWave could not be reached for additional comments on the acquisition, and Pfizer declined to provide an interview on the transaction at present.
NextWave’s pipeline currently contains another potential ADHD treatment, NWP09. The compound, indicated for ADHD, is a Methylphenidate extended-release chewable tablet, and is currently in Phase III development. NWP09 is undergoing a Phase III multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial for the evaluation of its effectiveness in children with ADHD ages six years to 12 years. The company has a target date of 2013 for a New Drug Approval submission.
“This agreement demonstrates our focused expansion of the Established Products U.S. brands business to offer a diverse portfolio of high-quality medicines that meet patients’ needs,” said Albert Bourla, president and general manager in Pfizer’s Established Products business unit, in a statement. “By combining the advantages of Quillivant XR with Pfizer’s commercialization expertise, we will be able to provide ADHD patients and their caregivers a new treatment option.”
ADHD currently stands as one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders in the United States, and is characterized by marked difficulty paying attention, impulsive behavior and, in some cases, being overly active. In a 2009 report from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in 10 children (9.5 percent) ages 4 to 17 in the United States have received a diagnosis of ADHD. The condition often continues into adulthood, and roughly 4 percent of Americans are believed to be affected with adult ADHD.
In a report released by GlobalData in October 2011, “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Therapeutic: Pipeline Assessment and Market Forecasts to 2018,” the firm noted that the global ADHD therapeutics market had a value of approximately $3.8 billion in 2010, and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8 percent over the next eight years, reaching roughly $7.1 billion by 2018.
The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year, and is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval in the United States. No details were provided as to Pfizer’s plans for NextWave’s facilities or employees following the acquisition.
Pfizer brought on Jefferies & Company Inc. as its financial advisor for the transaction, and Pfizer Legal Alliance firms Kaye Scholer LLP and Ropes & Gray LLP were brought on as legal counsel. NextWave brought on Aquilo Partners LP as its financial advisor, while Cooley LLP served as the company’s legal advisor.