OR AKIVA, Israel - Dexxon Pharmaceutics Ltd. is acquiring Perio Products from Israel Chemicals.

Dan Oren, CEO and president of Dexxon, a privately held producer of generic pharmaceutical products, said, "We agreed and signed [Aug. 18] on the planned purchase [of 85 percent] of Perio Products' shares from Israel Chemicals. Most government approvals are in order regarding the transfer of shares, and we foresee taking over within seven to 10 days."

Oren earlier had postponed the deal upon discovering some undisclosed key personnel changes.

Perio has developed a proprietary platform drug delivery system for targeted, controlled release, primarily based on degradable polymers that can be mixed with active ingredients and modified to degrade over hours to weeks in specified parts of the body.

Perio has four distinct technologies: The PerioChip, the Colonic Delivery System (CDS), the Liquid Polymer technology, and the SLP that allows for the first-time controlled release of a drug overnight in the oral cavity. Numerous formulations are under development incorporating the technologies, including those for alleviating mucositis after radiation exposure, for treatment of chronic ulcers and other wounds, and even for migraine and sleep apnea.

Israel Chemicals, a publicly traded company, announced to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange that on Aug. 19 it had received a letter from Dexxon to cancel the proposed deal, which would have generated a capital gain of $24 million. The total sum of the transaction was estimated at up to $35 million, which would also have included the purchase by Dexxon of another 15 percent stake held by German investment bank DEG GmbH.

The moves of the Ofer Brothers Group, which acquired Israel Chemicals' parent company, the Israel Corp., last year, are under scrutiny. They have been trying to divest Israel Chemicals' unrelated businesses. They have twice failed to take Perio public in the U.S. and this would have been their third unsuccessful attempt to liquidate Israel Chemicals' holdings in Perio - now even to a motivated buyer.

Oren said he was hopeful all along that Israel Chemicals would find a way to solve the personnel problem, as Dexxon, which employs some 350 workers with annual sales of about $50 million, mainly in the UK and Germany through local subsidiaries, has been very interested in buying the company and looks forward to developing the technologies for the market. He told BioWorld International, "Everyone is satisfied and we are proceeding. More details on our plans will be forthcoming."