Ir­ish com­pany be­hind life-sav­ing Nar­can sold to drug gi­ant

Irish Independent - Business Week - - Front Page - Gavin McLough­lin

A GROUP of Ir­ish busi­ness­men led by pharma en­tre­pre­neur and for­mer Elan ex­ec­u­tive Sea­mus Mul­li­gan are set for an enor­mous pay­day as part of a $735m deal.

Mr Mul­li­gan is one of the founders of Adapt Pharma, a Dublin-based busi­ness which is be­ing sold to a US player called Emer­gent Bioso­lu­tions.

It is his sec­ond ma­jor pharma deal af­ter sell­ing Azur Pharma, a com­pany he also founded, in an all-share deal that val­ued Azur at some $500m.

The sale of Adapt is struc­tured so that $635m will be paid up­front – $575m of that in cash and the rest in shares.

As much as a fur­ther $100m in cash is payable as fu­ture sales mile­stones are reached – bring­ing the po­ten­tial con­sid­er­a­tion to $735m.

Adapt makes a drug over­dose an­ti­dote known as Nar­can, which was re­port­edly used to re­vive singer Demi Lo­vato, pic­tured, af­ter an al­leged over­dose.

The an­ti­dote is ad­min­is­tered via a nasal spray – dis­tin­guish­ing it from other prod­ucts which are ad­min­is­tered via a sy­ringe.

That makes it an im­por­tant tool in tack­ling the much-pub­li­cised opi­oid cri­sis in the United States.

Adapt is based in Dublin and has its US head­quar­ters in Philadel­phia. Com­pa­nies Regis­tra­tion Of­fice fil­ings, dated Septem­ber 30 2017, state that a com­pany called Ner­ano Pharma owns around 75pc of Adapt.

Mr Mul­li­gan is the sole listed share­holder in Ner­ano Pharma’s most re­cently filed an­nual re­turn, putting his pay­out at some $550m if the full $735m is even­tu­ally paid out.

Mr Mul­li­gan is also listed as hav­ing a rel­a­tively small num­ber of Adapt shares un­der his own name. Other Adapt share­hold­ers in­clude Eu­nan Maguire, listed as an Adapt Pharma co-founder and its chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, David Brabazon, an­other co-founder and the com­pany’s chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer, and Fin­tan Kee­gan, Adapt’s chief tech­ni­cal of­fi­cer.

“I am de­lighted that this trans­ac­tion will bring Adapt and Emer­gent to­gether to fo­cus on crit­i­cal treat­ments within the opi­oid cri­sis – one of the lead­ing pub­lic health is­sues of our time,” Mr Mul­li­gan said.

“With a shared mis­sion of pro­tect­ing lives from pub­lic health threats, I am con­fi­dent that our com­bined ex­per­tise and re­sources will ac­cel­er­ate ac­cess to Nar­can nasal spray through in­vest­ments in pub­lic aware­ness and man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pac­ity while main­tain­ing a re­spon­si­ble pric­ing ap­proach.

“It will also al­low us to progress Adapt’s R&D pipe­line of ad­di­tional opi­oid over­dose and ad­dic­tion treat­ment op­tions,” Mr Mul­li­gan said, adding that all of the com­pany’s em­ploy­ees and fa­cil­i­ties would be main­tained.

The deal is sub­ject to reg­u­la­tory ap­proval, and all go­ing well, is ex­pected to close in the fourth quar­ter.

Emer­gent Bioso­lu­tions CEO Daniel J Ab­dun-Nabi said the com­pa­nies would “com­bine ef­forts to ad­dress the opi­oid over­dose epi­demic”. “We look for­ward to wel­com­ing the Adapt team so to­gether we can fur­ther ex­pand aware­ness and avail­abil­ity of this po­ten­tially life-sav­ing treat­ment.”

Isolde Gog­gin says pros­e­cu­tions are a pos­si­bil­ity for non-com­pli­ance

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