Acquisitions Pepper NC Life Sciences in 2015
Several of the state’s life science companies announced acquisitions in 2015.
- Biogen acquired the biopharmaceutical manufacturing plant of its neighbor in Research Triangle Park, Eisai, for undisclosed financial terms. About 150 of Eisai’s 600-plus U.S. employees work at the facility, and about 100 of them are expected to be retained by Biogen, which this year celebrated its 20th anniversary in the Park. Biogen has grown its employment in the Park by more than 50 percent over the last five years and has hired more than 100 people this year alone, bringing its workforce to more than 1,000. More.
- TransEnterix, a Morrisville medical device company, purchased the surgical robotics division of Italian health care company Sofar in a cash and stock deal worth $99.8 million. Publicly traded TransEnterix develops and sells minimally invasive robotic surgery systems such as the SPIDER, enabling complex procedures through a single incision in the navel, and the SurgiBot robotic surgical platform. More.
- Phoundry Pharmaceuticals, a peptide drug-discovery startup in Research Triangle Park, announced it would be acquired by Boston-based Intarcia Therapeutics for an undisclosed price only seven months after Phoundry was spun out of GlaxoSmithKline. Intarcia said it would retain all nine of Phoundry’s employees and keep the company’s presence in the Park, where it expects to double the head count within 12 to 18 months. More.
- Cardioxyl Pharmaceuticals Inc., a 10-employee biotechnology company in Chapel Hill that’s developing drugs for cardiovascular disease, announced it would be acquired by pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb in a deal that could bring Cardioxyl more than $2 billion in extra payments if it meets certain milestones. The acquisition will give Bristol-Myers Squibb full rights to Cardioxyl’s lead asset, CXL-1427, a novel nitroxyl prodrug in phase two clinical development as an intravenous treatment for acute decompensated heart failure. More.
- Durham-based Scioderm announced it would be acquired by Amicus Therapeutics of Cranbury, N.J., for $229 million, and the deal could grow to nearly $1 billion if Scioderm’s lead drug compound achieves certain clinical, regulatory and sales milestones. Scioderm had begun phase three clinical trials of Zorblisa, its topical therapy for the treatment of blisters and lesions in patients with epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a rare genetic disease of the connective tissue. Scioderm, founded in 2013, has nine employees. More.
- The $1 billion-plus Novartis cell culture vaccine plant in Holly Springs was rebranded with a new name and logo announced by its new owner, CSL. CSL, a large Australian pharmaceutical company, decided to name its vaccine business Seqirus, which is derived from the term “securing health for all of us.” CSL, which bought Novartis’ influenza vaccines business for $275 million in 2014, says Seqirus is now the second-largest business in the $4 billion-a-year flu vaccine industry. More.
- Bioptigen, a Morrisville-based medical imaging company, reached an agreement to be purchased by German powerhouse Leica Microsystems for undisclosed terms. Bioptigen, a 2004 Duke University spinout, makes specialized high-resolution imaging devices for non-invasive diagnoses of eye diseases and other medical applications. NCBiotech supported Bioptigen’s startup with $475,575 in loans and a $100,000 research grant to its collaborators at Duke. More.
Choose a category below for more highlights of the year’s top life science success stories statewide.