The Medicines Company to offload infectious disease business to focus on PCSK9 inhibitor inclisiran

The Medicines Company agreed to sell its infectious disease business unit to Melinta Therapeutics for $270 million in cash and stock, the companies announced Wednesday. The transaction, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018, also includes tiered royalty payments of 5 percent to 25 percent on worldwide net sales of Vabomere (meropenem/vaborbactam), Orbactiv (oritavancin) and Minocin IV (minocycline).

Specifically, the agreement includes a total of $215 million in cash considerations, including an upfront payment of $165 million. The Medicines Company will receive payments of $25 million at 12 months and 18 months after closing, while the drugmaker will also be awarded $55 million in Melinta common stock.

Clive Meanwell, CEO of The Medicines Company, said "the transaction will allow us to optimise and focus our efforts and resources" on the experimental PCSK9 inhibitor inclisiran. Meanwell added that the deal will help to "provide sufficient cash and liquidity to advance inclisiran through the anticipated completion of the ongoing Phase III development programme and final data readout in the second half of 2019."

Earlier this month, The Medicines Company and partner Alnylam Pharmaceuticals announced the start of Phase III studies of inclisiran for the treatment of patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), or ASCVD equivalents, plus elevated LDL-C levels despite treatment with LDL-C-lowering therapies. The drugmakers reached an agreement with the FDA earlier this year regarding the conduct of the late-stage programme.

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Meanwhile, Melinta CEO Dan Wechsler remarked "the assets we are purchasing are an ideal complement to our existing business, allowing us to focus on multiple valuable segments of the anti-infectives market simultaneously." Under the deal, Melinta will assume all royalty, milestone and other payment obligations relating to Vabomere, Orbactiv and Minocin IV.

Vabomere was cleared by the FDA in August for use in adults with complicated urinary tract infections caused by susceptible Enterobacteriaceae, while Orbactiv is authorised in the US and EU for the treatment of adults with acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections caused by certain gram-positive bacteria. Meanwhile, Minocin IV is approved in the US for treating infections caused by susceptible strains of bacteria.

For related analysis, see ViewPoints: Vabomere affords Medicines Co. flexibility ahead of critical inclisiran decision.

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