Irish company behind life-saving Narcan sold to drug giant
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