East and West both make nine-figure acquistion deals

Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corp. makes deal to acquire Medicago for $357 million, while Ipsen grabs up Syntaxin for $207 million

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The end of last week and beginning of this one saw a pair of notable nine-figure acquisition deals, with Japan's Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corp. making a deal to acquire Medicago Inc. for $357 million and France's Ipsen grabbing up Syntaxin for $207 million.
 
In the larger of the two deals, Quebec city, Quebec-based Medicago announced July 12 that its board and Mitsubishi Tanabe's had unanimously agreed to the deal. If shareholders agree, it seems thatMitsubishi Tanabe will have the controlling stake, but not full ownderhip of Medicago, as there is no indication as yet that it will be purchasing the 38.5 percent of shares owned by Philip MorrisInternational Inc., which has agreed to irrevocably support and vote its shares in favor of thetransaction until April 12, 2014. In addition, all directors andcertain officers of Medicago, who hold approximately 1.6 percent of the issuedand outstanding shares have also entered into agreements underwhich they have agreed to vote their shares in favor of thetransaction.
 
Medicago is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing vaccines based on proprietary manufacturingtechnologies and Virus-Like Particles (VLPs)
  
"Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma, a top 30 global pharmaceutical company, hasbeen a solid and committed partner with the ability to drive Medicago'sfuture growth and success in the development of our best-in-class rapidplant-based vaccines," said Andy Sheldon, president and CEO ofMedicago. "Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma's capabilities in biopharmaceuticalresearch, development, and commercialization along with its financialstability offer us the ideal opportunity to realize the full potentialof our platform. These resources provide us the ability to foster thedevelopment of innovative vaccines with the financial stability toexpand our Quebec, Canadian, U.S. and global operations."
 
"Building on our existing collaboration, we look forward to working withthe management and employees of Medicago to further develop thebusiness and advance their promising work," said Michihiro Tsuchiya, representative director of Mitsubishi Tanabe. "Weare proud to invest in developing novel vaccines in Quebec City andNorth Carolina as part of our global operations."
 
More recently, U.K.-based life-sciences company Syntaxin, known for its expertise in the field of botulinum toxins, noted July 15 that it has been acquired by Ipsen, with which it already had two major strategic alliances. Under the terms of the agreement, Ipsenwill pay €28 million upfront, as well as further contingent paymentsthat could reach €130 million or more depending on the achievement ofdevelopment and commercial milestones. Furthermore, Syntaxin'sshareholders will receive the greater part of additional downstreampayments related to the company's most advanced asset, currently inPhase II clinical trials. Prior to the transaction, Ipsen owned roughly 10 percent ofSyntaxin's capital on a fully diluted basis.

Syntaxin's research laboratories in Abingdon will remain as a centre ofexcellence for botulinum toxin engineering within the enlarged group,allowing Ipsen to leverage its own extensive expertise.

Syntaxin and Ipsen started collaborating in 2010 and a year later theysigned a global strategic partnership to explore the discovery anddevelopment of new compounds in the field of recombinant botulinumtoxins. Syntaxin's team has used its extensive expertise in thediscovery of new therapeutic candidates while Ipsen applied its skillsto pharmacological, preclinical and clinical assessment of thecompounds.

"Our established and productivecollaboration with Ipsen can now be fully exploited to bring newmedicines to the market in a number of therapeutic areas," said Dr. Melanie Lee, CEO of Syntaxin.

Syntaxin says that is has "a strong R&D portfolio which exploits the diversity ofbotulinum toxins, including recombinant botulinum toxins with improveddesigns and properties." Reportedly The company's technology "has been validated bythe Phase II clinical trials of Syntaxin's lead candidate."
 
Dr. KeithFoster and Dr. John Chaddock, the co-founders of Syntaxin, are said to be joiningIpsen to help the group build "a highly differentiated and innovativetoxin platform," with the company adding: "Syntaxin's recombinant toxin expertise and Ipsen'sknow-how will be a powerful combination to release the full potential ofthe Targeted Secretion Inhibitors platform across Ipsen's therapeuticareas of neurology, endocrinology and uro-oncology.  
 
 


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