Making their mark

Biomarker company Clinical Data acquires Adenosine Therapeutics

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NEWTON, Mass.—After rolling up several genomics service company acquisitions over the past few years, Clinical Data Inc. continued its growth with last month's purchase of Adenosine Therapeutics LLC, a developer of adenosine receptor modulators, in a deal that could be worth up to $66.2 million.

In exchange for all of Adenosine's operating assets, Clinical Data paid $11 million in cash and entered into a $22 million, five-year promissory note and a separate, $3.2 million, 32-month promissory note. Contingent consideration of up to $30 million in cash may be paid on achievement of certain regulatory and commercial milestones.

Clinical Data's PGxHealth division will apply its biomarker expertise to Adenosine's broad estate of highly selective adenosine receptor agonists and antagonists, adding drug candidates in cardiology, diabetes, inflammatory diseases and sickle cell anemia. Together, the two companies plan to produce targeted therapeutics and companion biomarker tests across a number of therapeutic areas, with a development path made more efficient with the incorporation of biomarkers, says Clinical Data President and CEO Drew Fromkin.

"This is precisely the sort of opportunity we have been seeking to leverage our pharmacogenomic expertise against a promising set of clinical and preclinical drug candidates," Fromkin says.

Clinical Data is especially interested in advancing Stedivaze, Adenosine's pharmacologic stress agent, adds Fromkin. Expected to enter Phase III testing for myocardial perfusion imaging in 2009, Stedivase sales as a pharmacologic stress agent totaled approximately $330 million last year, and Clinical Data may expand its cardiology sales force to handle its launch once marketing approval is obtained, Fromkin says.

Adenosine also has two compounds in its pipeline that are the subject of licensing option agreements. Novartis holds an option to partner on the development of ATL844, currently in preclinical studies for the treatment of diabetes and asthma, and a confidential partner holds an option on another compound in preclinical development for an ophthalmic indication.

"The potential success of Stedivase alone undergirds the value of this transaction," Fromkin says.

The Adenosine acquisition rounds out a series of targeted genomics service company buys by Clinical Data in the past two years—Electa Lab srl, Genaissance Pharmaceuticals and Icoria Inc. in 2005; Genome Express in 2006; and Epidauros Biotechnologie AG in 2007.

The acquisitions moved Clinical Data from a traditional diagnostics company to a leading developer of genetic and pharmacogenetic tests and therapeutics and a provider of regulated and research molecular and pharmacogenomics laboratory services.

Adenosine CEO Robert Capon says his company brings significant biomarker intellectual property to this mix.

"One of the things that excited us the most about this acquisition was the opportunity to maximize these compounds and get to the finish line," Capon says. "We feel their biomarker technology expertise can be extremely helpful in bringing our products forward and fulfill our passion and reason for being, which is developing these products to benefit humankind." DDN

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