SAN DIEGO—OptimerPharmaceuticals Inc. announced Oct. 8 the sale of the last of its stake inOptimer Biotechnology Inc. (OBI) to current OBI shareholders, with the sale expectedto result in gross proceeds to Optimer of $60 million that will be used tosupport the commercialization of Dificid (fidaxomicin) tablets and for othercorporate purposes.
The transaction is expected to close in two phases, subjectto customary closing conditions and the completion of administrative matters.The first closing is expected to take place in the fourth quarter of 2012 andthe second closing is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2013.
"The sale of our stake in OBI completes thetransition of OBI from a wholly-owned subsidiary of Optimer to an independentorganization. We intend to utilize the capital realized from this investment toadvance the commercial efforts in support of our core business, including ournew initiatives designed to increase patient access to Dificid," notedPedro Lichtinger, president and CEO of Optimer.
For the third quarter of 2012, Optimer's top-lineU.S. gross Dificid sales to wholesalers were $18.4 million, up from $18million in the second quarter. Further, 6,436 Dificid treatments were shippedfrom Optimer's wholesalers to hospitals, retail pharmacies and long-term carefacilities in the third quarter, up from 6,131 in the second quarter,reflecting a 5-percent increase, Optimer notes.
Optimer Pharmaceuticals is a globalbiopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovativehospital specialty products that "have a positive impact on society." The company developed Dificid tablets and is commercializing the drug in theUnited States and Canada. Optimer also received marketing authorization for fidaxomicintablets in the European Union where its partner, Astellas Pharma Europe, iscommercializing fidaxomicin under the trade name DIFICLIR. The company isexploring marketing authorization in other parts of the world, including Asia.
OBI is a biotechcompany formed in Taiwan in 2002, structured at first as awholly owned subsidiary of Optimer Pharmaceuticals. In November 2009, it began to spin off from its parent company,forming a new management team with a mission to "develop noveltherapeutic agents for diseases that are currently lacking treatmentoptions," according to the company's website. The initial therapeutic focus of OPI right now is on cancer andosteoarthritis, but OBI says it "is positioned as a new product development companystriving to improve health and quality of life through innovative andcost effective medicine."
The most recent news coming out of OBI is from early August, with news that its investigational breast cancer drug OBI-822/821had received Taiwan FDA approval to enter Phase III trials.