By Alex Keown, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Approximately 100 employees of Merrimack Pharmaceuticals (MACK) will become staff of Paris-based Ipsen (IPN.PA) as part of a deal for the Massachusetts-based company’s pancreatic cancer drug, the Boston Business Journal reported.
In January, Ipsen and Merrimack struck a deal for Onivyde, a drug used for the treatment of patients with metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas after disease progression following gemcitabine-based therapy, in combination with fluorouracil and leucovorin. Initial terms of the agreement revealed that Ipsen will gain exclusive commercialization rights for the current and potential future Onivyde indications in the United States. Additionally, the transaction includes Merrimack’s commercial and manufacturing infrastructure, and generic doxorubicin HCl liposome injection, which is used for ovarian cancer, IDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma and multiple myeloma. The deal included a $575 million payment upfront, but with milestones could become worth more than $1 billion.
The deal with Merrimack is not the only acquisition Ipsen has made. On Feb. 13, the company spent $88 million to acquire five over-the-counter drugs from Sanofi (SNY). The deal includes Prontalgine, an analgesic for the treatment of moderate to severe pain; Buscopan, an antispasmodic; Suppositoria Glycerini, a laxative; and Mucothiol and Mucodyne, expectorants for cough and flu. The OTC brands are only available in Europe.
On Jan. 31, Ipsen acquired an equity stake in Akkadeas Pharma, a privately-held consumer healthcare company based in Italy that has a gastrointestinal-focused portfolio. Ipsen has the option to take full control of the company in the future.