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AstraZeneca to Buy Pearl Therapeutics

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 17 Jun 2013
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AstraZeneca (London, United Kingdom) has agreed to buy Pearl Therapeutics (Redwood City, CA, USA) for as much as USD 1.15 billion, in a bid to expand its portfolio of respiratory-disease treatments.

The acquisition will give AstraZeneca access to a potential new treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) based on inhaled small-molecule therapeutics, currently in late-stage development, and inhaler and formulation technology that provides a platform for future combination products. Pearl’s lead product, PT003, is a fixed dose combination of formoterol fumarate, a long-acting beta-2-agonist (LABA) and glycopyrrolate, a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA). PT003 is delivered by inhalation via a pressurized metered dose inhaler (pMDI) using Pearl’s novel cosuspension formulation technology.

Under the terms of the agreement, AstraZeneca will acquire 100% of Pearl’s shares for initial consideration of USD 560 million payable on completion. In addition, deferred consideration of up to USD 450 million becomes payable if specified development and regulatory milestones in respect of any triple combination therapies and selected future products that AstraZeneca develops using Pearl’s technology platform are achieved. Sales-related payments of up to a further USD 140 million will be payable if cumulative sales thresholds agreed beforehand are exceeded, resulting in a total potential acquisition cost of up to USD 1.15 billion.

“Pearl’s novel formulation technology, together with its development products and specialist expertise are a great complement to AstraZeneca’s long-established capabilities in respiratory disease, one of our core therapy areas,” said Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca. “Combined with our on-market portfolio, including Symbicort, and our strong pipeline, the agreement will enable us to offer further distinctive treatment options across the full spectrum of COPD and asthma to patients, physicians, and payers.”

“We have been impressed with AstraZeneca’s expertise, focus and speed of execution and are delighted to be joining the group, a global leader in respiratory disease, as we believe that Pearl will be an excellent fit for its respiratory portfolio,” said Kevin Ferro, chairman of the board of Pearl Therapeutics. “We believe AstraZeneca will provide significant value in supporting the further development and registration of our lead product, PT003, and in leveraging our technology platform to realize future products including a triple agent therapy for respiratory disease.”

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