Thu, Oct. 27, 10:53 AM
- Allergan (AGN +0.3%) exercises its option to acquire Rhythm Holding Company, LLC subsidiary Motus Therapeutics for $200M plus a contingent payment related to the first commercial sale of relamorelin, a ghrelin agonist about to enter Phase 3 development for the treatment of diabetic gastroparesis (DG). Earlier, Allergan paid $47M for the option to buy the relamorelin developer.
- Top-line results from a Phase 2b trial prompted Allergan's move. Type 1 and type 2 diabetics treated with relamorelin for 12 weeks showed improvements in DG symptoms of nausea, post-prandial (after eating) fullness, abdominal pain and bloating in addition to a positive effect on gastric motility. Patients experienced a 75% reduction in vomiting frequency across all doses versus baseline, the primary endpoint, but it fell short of statistical significance due to an unexpected high rate of vomiting in the placebo group. Nevertheless, Allergan intends to advance relamorelin to Phase 3 development.
- Diabetic gastroparesis is a disorder in which the movement of food from the stomach is slowed or stopped. The most frequent cause is damage to the vagus nerve, which controls the movement of food (motility) through the digestive tract.
- Relamorelin (formerly RM-131) stimulates a hormone called ghrelin which increases appetite. Aeterna Zentaris (AEZS -7.9%) is developing a ghrelin agonist called Macrilen (macromorelin) for the treatment of adult growth hormone deficiency. Aratana Therapeutics (PETX -1.7%) is developing another, capromorelin, as an appetite stimulator in dogs.
Oct. 14, 2013, 6:30 AM
- The acquisition is expected to significantly accelerate Aratana's (PETX) pathway toward becoming a commercial-stage pet therapeutics company.
- Aratana will pay to Vet $30M in cash, issue 625K shares of common stock, and issue a promissory note for $3M with a maturity date of December 31, 2014. Aratana will also pay up to $5M cash upon the achievement of certain regulatory and manufacturing milestones for the B-cell lymphoma product.
- Aratana also said that it has entered into a share purchase agreement providing for $19.75M of common shares - 1,234,375 shares at $16.00 per share.