Synergy Pharmaceuticals' shares plunge as buyout offers fall short of market value

Shares in Synergy Pharmaceuticals plunged as much as 71 percent after the company revealed that buyout offers received after initiating a strategic review in May have been "significantly below" its market value. The drugmaker said that it does not expect to obtain any significantly higher offers, while it has also "been unable to consummate any partnership opportunities."

Synergy's Trulance (plecanatide) gained FDA approval in 2017 for the treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation in adults patients, with the drug's indication later expanded to include the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with constipation in adults. Earlier this year, the company announced two licensing deals for Trulance, one with Cipher Pharmaceuticals covering Canada and another with Luoxin Pharmaceutical in China.

However, Synergy noted that uptake of the product has been slower than anticipated due to "a highly competitive market access environment and slower than anticipated overall market growth." The company said that it estimates annual Trulance sales of between $42 million to $40 million this year, which is below a minimum revenue covenant of $61 million detailed in loan agreement.

Under the deal, Synergy agreed a $300 million debt financing structured as senior secured loans from investment firm CRG. Synergy noted that it is now seeking to renegotiate the terms of the term loan agreement, as well as pursuing financing alternatives. However, the drugmaker warned that if it defaults under the term loan agreement, it may have to resort to other plans, including the possibility of seeking bankruptcy protection.

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