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Vivus to acquire product rights to Pancreaze from Janssen for $135m

Published 02 May 2018

Vivus has agreed to acquire all product rights for Pancreaze (pancrelipase) Delayed-Release Capsules in the US and Canada held by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, subject to certain closing conditions, including Hart-Scott-Rodino review.

This is the first of what the Company expects will be a series of product acquisitions designed to generate revenue and strengthen its financial position.

Vivus CEO John Amos said: “We are very pleased to announce the acquisition of the PANCREAZE product rights for the U.S. and Canadian territories. The acquisition, coupled with today’s announcement to restructure a portion of our convertible debt with Athyrium Capital Management, are demonstrations of our plan to create a stronger and more financially capable VIVUS. 

“We hope that the combination of a new product for us to promote along with the strengthening of our balance sheet will serve as initial stepping stones in our value creating strategic vision.  The VIVUS senior management team plans to leverage the Company’s existing operating infrastructure in the promotion of PANCREAZE. 

“We intend to drive revenue in the future through innovative sales and marketing of our current product portfolio, disciplined product acquisition, strong product life cycle management and focused expense management.”

Willow Biopharma president and CEO Kenneth Suh said: “PANCREAZE serves as our initial product acquisition, one that will allow us to participate and be a meaningful product company in the global gastrointestinal marketplace predicted to hit $48 billion in 2022, according to GBI Research. 

“Through our disciplined product evaluation process, we are hopeful to acquire additional products and through product life cycle management, leverage the PANCREAZE platform for further growth.”

Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) is a condition that results from a deficiency in the production and/or secretion of pancreatic enzymes.

It is associated with cystic fibrosis and chronic pancreatitis, and affects approximately 85 percent of cystic fibrosis patients.  There is no cure for EPI and pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy is the main treatment for the condition.

Approved in 2010, PANCREAZE is a pancreatic enzyme preparation consisting of pancrelipase, an extract derived from porcine pancreatic glands, as well as other enzyme classes, including porcine-derived lipases, proteases and amylases. 

The pancreatic enzymes in PANCREAZE act like digestive enzymes physiologically secreted by the pancreas.  PANCREAZE is specifically indicated for the treatment of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency due to cystic fibrosis or other conditions. 

Upon closing, VIVUS will acquire PANCREAZE from Janssen for $135 million.

Source: Company Press Release.