Gilead Sciences acquires Corus Pharma for $365 million

The transaction is expected to close in Q3 2006 and to be dilutive to Gilead’s 2006 and 2007 earnings.

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FOSTER CITY, Calif.—Gilead Sciences Inc. exercised its option to pur­chase privately-held Corus Pharma for $365 million. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter, subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, and is expected to be dilutive to Gilead's 2006 and 2007 earnings.
The process began in earnest in April 2006, when Gilead invested $25 million in Corus, becoming the second largest shareholder in the company and gaining an exclusive option to purchase the remaining shares of the company. On July 19, Gilead notified Corus of its inten­tion to exercise its option to acquire the company.
Corus' lead product candidate, aztreonam lysine for inhalation, is an inhaled antibiotic with activ­ity against Gram-negative bacteria including Pseudomonas aerugino­sa, which can cause lung infections in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). Phase III studies to evaluate the product as a potential treat­ment for CF-related pulmonary infections are currently enrolling. In addition to aztreonam lysine, Corus is exploring an inhalation formulation of two antibiotics for the potential treatment of respira­tory infections. This program is currently in preclinical develop­ment. The company is also explor­ing treatments for other respirato­ry diseases such as chronic cough and asthma.
"Cystic fibrosis represents an important area of unmet medical need and the early exercise of this option underscores the poten­tial therapeutic advancement we believe aztreonam lysine repre­sents for patients," says Dr. John F. Milligan, executive VP and CFO for Gilead Sciences. "We intend to retain Corus' Seattle-based opera­tions, and we look forward to wel­coming the Corus employees to Gilead and to working together to advance the development of aztre­onam lysine."
"We are excited to partner our efforts with a company that has demonstrated expertise and success in developing and com­mercializing novel products for infectious diseases, and whose leadership underscores the dif­ference we can make for patients and physicians," says Dr. A. Bruce Montgomery, CEO of Corus. "The completion of this transaction will help Corus more rapidly develop aztreonam lysine and will fuel additional progress across our research pipeline."

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