AMAG Pharmaceuticals Strikes Deal to Acquire Perosphere and Its Anticoagulant
Waltham, Mass.-based AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc. will acquire privately-held Perosphere Inc. to leverage its expertise in hematology. The deal will provide the company the rights to ciraparantag, a next-generation anticoagulant reversal agent in mid-stage development.
Perosphere’s ciraparantag is currently being investigated for helping patients who have been treated with novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) or low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) when reversal of the anticoagulant effect of these products is needed for emergency surgery, urgent procedures or due to life-threatening or uncontrolled bleeding. Ciraparantag, which received Fast Track Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2015, is currently in Phase IIb development. Earlier this month, at the American Society of Hematology meeting in San Diego, Persophere, presented data that showed ciraparantag demonstrated a complete and sustained reversal of coagulants apixaban and rivaroxaban. In previous studies, ciraparantag had shown complete and sustained reversal of the NOAC, edoxaban, and the LMWH, enoxaparin, following a single intravenous bolus dose.
AMAG President and Chief Executive Officer William Heiden said his company has been searching for a “novel hematology asset” that will complement the company’s existing portfolio, as well as leverage the expertise of the company’s “high performing Feraheme hematology team.”
“This acquisition represents a great strategic fit and a unique opportunity to add an innovative, durable and differentiated mid-phase clinical asset to our portfolio,” Heiden added.
In AMAG’s announcement this morning about the acquisition, the company noted that ciraparantag has patent protection through 2034. The company said that NOAC therapy represents the fastest-growing segment of the anticoagulant market in the United States. AMAG noted that in the U.S., there are about 6 million patients on NOAC and LMWH therapy and about 9 million additional patients across the globe. AMAG pointed to a recent study that showed a small portion of NOAC patients, between 1.5 and 2 percent, are at risk for serious bleeding complications each year.
AMAG aims to take ciraparantag into Phase III development. Julie Krop, AMAG’s chief medical officer, said the company is excited about adding ciraparantag to its portfolio. Krop said the company believes ciraparantag has the potential to “positively impact patient care in this rapidly growing patient population.” The Phase III program will be partially funded by an unnamed pharmaceutical company that does not have commercialization rights for ciraparantag due to an existing agreement, AMAG said.
Under terms of the deal for Perosphere, AMAG will pay $50 million upfront and will also assume 12 million under a term loan and up to $6.2 million of Perosphere’s other liabilities. Perosphere shareholders could see an additional $140 million in regulatory milestone payments, although that could lessen if ciraparantag is approved with a boxed warning. That $140 million is inclusive of a $40 million milestone payment upon approval by the European Medicines Agency, AMAG noted. If ciraparantag is approved, AMAG said that Perosphere shareholders are eligible to receive up to an aggregate of $225 million in commercial sales milestones. The first commercial milestone payment of $20 million would be payable upon achieving annual net sales of $100 million
The deal is expected to be finalized in the first quarter of 2019.