A Medical Device Daily

Lantheus Medical Imaging (North Billeica, Massachusetts) reported that it has acquired from Epix Pharmaceuticals (Lexington, Massachusetts) the U.S., Canadian, and Australian rights to MS-325 (formerly marketed as Vasovist, gadofosveset trisodium, by Bayer Schering (Berlin) a novel magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) agent for aggregate gross cash proceeds of $28 million.

Epix will continue to own European and other non-U.S. rights (other than in Canada and Australia) for the imaging agent enabling it to pursue further monetization of these rights. Epix will pay $10.5 million of the cash proceeds from the transaction to Bayer Schering to satisfy its obligations related to U.S., Canadian and Australian Vasovist development costs.

In December 2008, Epix received FDA marketing approval for MS-325 to evaluate aortoiliac occlusive disease (AIOD) in adults with known or suspected peripheral vascular disease. Currently, there are no other imaging agents approved for MRA in the U.S.

The acquisition of MS-325 further builds on Lantheus' diagnostic imaging product portfolio and expands the company's presence to the radiology market.

Lantheus acquired the U.S. (including Puerto Rico), Canadian, and Australian rights to MS-325 from Epix. Epix will continue to own European and other ex-U.S. rights for the imaging agent. Lantheus is planning to launch MS-325 under a different name before the year-ends.

"With this transaction, we have made meaningful progress in our strategy to successfully monetize MS-325," said Elkan Gamzu, PhD, president/CEO of Epix. "As we have stated previously, one component of our overall corporate strategy has been to utilize MS-325 as a vehicle to bring capital into the company and to strengthen our cash position. We intend to use the net proceeds of this transaction to pursue an exchange offer of all of our outstanding 3% senior convertible notes, which we are announcing separately today. We believe that this transaction with Lantheus, when coupled with a successful restructuring of our outstanding debt, will position us well to strengthen our balance sheet and overall financial position."

In December 2008, Epix received FDA marketing approval for MS-325 under the trade name Vasovist to evaluate aortoiliac occlusive disease (AIOD) in adults with known or suspected peripheral vascular disease.

"MS-325 is a first-in-class blood specific MRA contrast agent and we are pleased that we have reached this agreement to acquire MS-325 from Epix," said Don Kiepert, president/CEO of Lantheus. "We believe the high-quality images resulting from MS-325 will allow physicians to fully utilize MRA as a meaningful diagnostic and therapeutic tool."

In other dealmaking activity, Mayer Laboratories (Berkeley, California) a marketer and distributor of contraceptive and other reproductive healthcare products, reported that it has signed an agreement with Alvogen Group (Norwich, New York) for the exclusive distribution rights of the Today Sponge for the U.S., Europe and Canada.

For more than 20 years, Mayer Labs has marketed and distributed contraceptive and reproductive healthcare products in the U.S. and abroad. According to David Mayer, CEO of Mayer Labs, "we are very excited to add the Today Sponge to our portfolio of high quality reproductive products. Today Sponge has always remained popular with many consumer advantages; the recent interruption of distribution was not the result of product quality or market viability, but was due to the previous owner's overleveraged financial condition, which ultimately lead to their bankruptcy."

No Comments