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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry

The Medicines Co. Deals Infectious Disease Biz

Written by: | | Dated: Wednesday, November 29th, 2017


Struggling The Medicines Company Deals Its Infectious Disease Biz to Melinta for $270M


By Alex Keown


The Medicines Company is selling its infectious disease business unit to Melinta Therapeutics.

Under the terms of the deal, Melinta is paying The Medicines Company $165 million in cash up front, and $55 million worth of Melinta common stock. Another $25 million in cash will be paid 12 months after closing, and another $25 million in cash at 18 months after closing. Melinta will also pay royalties of Vabomere, Orbactiv and Minocin IV.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018.

“Today marks a significant milestone for the Company, as we take another step along the strategic pathway we outlined in late 2015,” said Fredric Eshelman, The Medicines Company’s executive chairman, in a statement. “In further narrowing our focus onto inclisiran, we see great opportunity for patients, physicians, healthcare providers and shareholders. Together, the Company’s Board and management team will work to drive inclisiran forward, while supporting Melinta in maximizing the value of our antibiotic portfolio and creating significant additional value and liquidity for our shareholders through a robust royalty structure on future sales of that portfolio and our ownership of Melinta common stock.”

The deal quadruples Melinta’s antibiotics portfolio. Vabomere was recently approved and launched, whereas Orbactiv and Minocin are established products. Melinta is launching Baxdela (delafloxacin) early next year. Melinta plans to expand its commercial team, which was recently expanded for the launch of Baxdela, with sales staffers from The Medicines Company.

“The assets we are purchasing are an ideal complement to our existing business, allowing us to focus on multiple valuable segments of the anti-infectives market simultaneously,” said Dan Wechsler, Melinta’s president and chief executive officer, in a statement. “We will be able to better serve the providers and the patients they serve who need medicines for serious infections by delivering a robust portfolio of treatment options.”

Baxdela was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June for acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI). Its planned launch is in the first quarter 2018.

Vabomere is a mixture of vaborbactam, a beta-lactamase inhibitor, and meropenem, a carbapenem antibacterial. It was approved by the FDA in August 2017 for adults with complicated urinary tract infections including pyelonephritis caused by specific Enterobacteriaceae. It is currently being reviewed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Orbactiv is approved in the U.S. and Europe for adults with ABSSSI caused by gram-positive bacteria, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureaus (MRSA).

Minocin IV is a derivative, injectable form of tetracycline approved by the FDA for infections caused by several gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, including Acinetobacter species.

“We believe the transaction announced today will enable us to achieve three critical goals for the Company and our shareholders,” said Clive Meanwell, The Medicines Company’s chief executive officer, in a statement. “First, we expect the transaction, when combined with our previously-announced restructuring, to provide sufficient cash and liquidity to advance inclisiran through the anticipated completion of the ongoing Phase III development program and final data readout in the second half of 2019, associated manufacturing development, and recruitment with initial follow-up in our cardiovascular outcomes trial—alleviating the need to sell equity in the Company.”

Secondly, he went on to say, “the transaction will allow us to optimize and focus our efforts and resources on inclisiran, which we believe has the potential to be a competitively-dominant, blockbuster product for the millions of at-risk, often non-adherent, patients worldwide who continue to struggle with high cholesterol given the limitations of available therapies. Third, the transaction recognizes the value of our novel antibiotic products, Vabomere, Orbactive and Minocin IV, places many of our outstanding employees into Melinta, a highly-capable, pure-play, emerging leader in the antibiotics space, and allows The Medicines Company and our shareholders to participate in the upside potential of the commercialization of these products.”


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