Teva To Expand Respiratory Pipeline Via MicroDose Acquisition
Espicom View: The proposed acquisition of MicroDose Therapeutx will see Teva Pharmaceutical Industries' core respiratory pipeline expand, not only through the addition of MDT-637, but through further product candidates, such as MDT-011, as well as partnered products that are currently in preclinical or Phase I development. Regarding MicroDose Therapeutx' pipeline of other non-respiratory product candidates, such as those in development for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and autoimmune diseases, Espicom believes that Teva will likely divest these non-core assets, in line with the company's focused business strategy.
Jerusalem, Israel-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire MicroDose Therapeutx, a privately-held pharmaceutical and drug-delivery company based in Monmouth Junction, NJ. Under the terms of the deal, Teva will acquire all of MicroDose's outstanding shares for a payment at closing of US$40 million, additional payments of up to US$125 million upon achievement of regulatory and development milestones, plus sales-based milestones and tiered royalty payments upon commercialisation of MDT-637, and MDT-011, an earlier-stage asthma/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) therapy. MDT-637 is an inhaled, low-dose, small-molecule fusion inhibitor, currently in Phase I development for the treatment of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). MDT-637, which is delivered via MicroDose's proprietary delivery technology, prevents viral replication.
Following the appointment in mid-2012 of a new CEO, Dr Jeremy M Levin, Teva undertook a review of its business to improve its current performance and best position the company for future growth. This review identified existing strengths, capabilities and opportunities throughout the organisation and enabled a deeper understanding of the evolution of the pharmaceutical market and the resulting new opportunities. Business development is focused on enhancing the company's core specialty franchises, primarily in the CNS and respiratory therapeutic areas, and making selective investments in new or growing geographies. In the near-term, Teva has expressed plans to focus on small to mid-sized transactions, alliances in key areas and licensing deals. Specifically concerning its respiratory business, Teva has pledged to improve current products, develop existing molecules on its Spiromax platform, and investigate new technological platforms and disease areas. In addition, Teva will continue to divest assets that are not part of its core strategy.
The proposed acquisition of MicroDose is a key example of this near-term focus. MicroDose's product development pipeline will enable Teva to grow its core respiratory business, as well as its drug delivery technology portfolio. As well as dry-powder inhalation technology, MicroDose possesses technologies in the areas of fixed-dose-combination oral dosage (PolyCaps), and needlefree transdermal delivery systems.
Upon completion of the acquisition, Teva will have access to MicroDose's proprietary technology including its multi-dose dry-powder nebuliser device, which requires no preparation and can be administered in under 30 seconds. MicroDose's current pipeline targets respiratory diseases, such as asthma and COPD, respiratory viruses and infections, including RSV, as well as irritable bowel syndrome and constipation.