LEXINGTON, Mass.—A busy year of biotech buyouts has come toa close with yet another multimillion deal. On Dec. 14, Cubist PharmaceuticalsInc., an acute care therapeutics company, announced its acquisition of CalixaTherapeutics, a privately held biotech focused on the development ofantibiotics that address multi-drug resistant Gram-negative pathogens, for$92.5 million. The deal could bring San Diego-based Calixa an additional $310million if milestones in the development and commercialization of its leadcompound are met.
According to Cubist President and CEO Michael Bonney, thatlead compound, CXA-201, could provide physicians with a critically needed newweapon to treat certain serious infections caused by multi-drug-resistantGram-negative pathogens, including those caused by multi-drug resistantPseudomonas aeruginosa. CXA-201 is being developed as a first-line intravenoustherapy for the treatment of certain serious Gram-negative bacterial infectionsin the hospital. Its demonstrated potency against P. aeruginosa would giveCXA-201 a highly differentiated profile versus marketed antibiotics. Cubistexpects to file a New Drug Application for CXA-201 in the second half of 2013.
Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, Cubist wouldpay to the Calixa stockholders $92.5 million in cash, subject to certainadjustments, and Calixa would become a wholly owned subsidiary of Cubist.Cubist also would be required to make potential payments to the Calixastockholders of up to $310 million upon achieving certain development,regulatory, and commercial milestones related to products which incorporate CXA-101.No financing would be necessary to complete the acquisition of Calixa or tofund the development of Calixa's product candidates.
The acquisition leverages Cubist's antibiotic developmentand regulatory expertise as well as its acute care commercial organization inthe United States, Bonney said in a statement.
"We are excited about the opportunity to add CXA-201 to ourclinical pipeline," Bonney stated. "We believe Cubist is ideally positioned todevelop and commercialize this novel antibiotic."
Calixa CEO Dennis Podlesak added that Cubist is an idealpartner because it has a proven track record of success in developing andcommercializing anti-infective products.
"We have great confidence in their ability to optimize thetherapeutic and commercial potential of the Calixa portfolio," Podlesak stated.
Both companies' boards of directors have approved thetransaction. Pending customary approvals, the acquisition is expected to closein the fourth quarter.
Following the news, shares of Cubist rose 18 cents to closeat $19.
Zacks Investment Research noted that the deal is good newsfor Cubist, as it recently suffered a setback for one of its pipelinecandidates. Earlier this month, Cubist stopped patient enrollment in trials ofecallantide, a drug intended to reduce bleeding during heart surgery, becauseof deaths among patients that took the drug. Cubist is also facing a patentchallenge from Teva Pharmaceuticals, which is developing a generic version ofCubicin. A trial date has been set for April 25, 2011.
The Cubist-Calixa deal comes at the end of a busy M&Ayear for the biotech industry. According to Thomson Reuters, there have beenmore than 90 M&A deals this year, significantly higher than the 84 M&Adeals counted in 2008.