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Merck køber kopi antistoffer for $130 mio


2547 troldmanden 12/2 2009 14:44
Oversigt

NEW YORK, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Merck & Co (MRK.N) will pay $130 million to acquire experimental biologic medicines from Insmed Inc (INSM.O) as well as the smaller company's commercial manufacturing plant as the drugmaker pushes into biotech.

Merck said in December it planned to break into biotechnology medicine, a strategic shift marked by a major push into developing generic biotech drugs, also known as "follow-on" biologics.

Merck said on Thursday it is acquiring Insmed's development portfolio of follow-on biologics, whose lead such product is a version of Neupogen, Amgen Inc's (AMGN.O) medicine for boosting white blood cells. That product is about to enter late-stage testing, Merck said.

Under the deal, Merck also will acquire Insmed's commercial manufacturing facilities in Boulder, Colorado.

"Insmed's pipeline of follow-on biologic candidates presents the opportunity to expedite Merck's entry into the biologics marketplace as well as providing unique manufacturing resources and an experienced team of protein experts," Frank Clyburn, senior vice president and general manager of Merck BioVentures, said in a statement. (Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf; Editing by Derek Caney)

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Insmed Sells Follow-on Biologics Platform to Merck & Co., Inc. for Gross Proceeds of $130 Million
--Insmed to Retain IPLEX(TM) portfolio Company to host conference call at 8:30 am ET today

RICHMOND, Va., Feb 12, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- Insmed Inc. (Nasdaq: INSM), a developer of follow-on biologics and biopharmaceuticals focused on niche markets with unmet medical needs, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Merck & Co., Inc. whereby Merck, through an affiliate, will purchase all assets related to Insmed's follow-on biologics platform. Under the terms of the agreement, Insmed will receive a total of $130 million for the assets. After fees, taxes and other costs related to the transaction, Insmed expects net proceeds of approximately $123 million as a result of this agreement.

As part of this transaction, Insmed will receive initial payments of up to $10 million for Insmed's lead follow-on-biologic candidates and the remaining balance upon closing of the transaction, which is targeted for March 31, 2009. These initial payments will allow the Company to maintain its normal business operations throughout the closing period without the need for dilutive financing.

Insmed's follow-on biologics assets include INS-19 and INS-20, whose development and commercial rights will now belong to Merck, as well as the Boulder, Colorado-based manufacturing facility. Merck intends to assume the facility's lease and ownership of all the equipment in the building. In addition, upon closing of the transaction, Merck intends to offer positions to employees of the Boulder facility. Insmed will retain its Richmond, VA corporate office, which houses its Clinical, Regulatory, Finance, and Administrative functions, in support of the continuing IPLEX(TM) program.

"We have long maintained that our follow-on biologics assets hold substantial value, and this agreement with Merck, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, is a testament to that value," said Dr. Geoffrey Allan, President and CEO of Insmed. "We are pleased that over the past two years our team has been successful in developing such a valuable asset, which, as a result of this agreement, will generate a substantial return to the Company."

"This transaction will transform and strengthen our balance sheet in a completely non-dilutive fashion, and provides us with substantial financial flexibility in a market where cash, especially for small biotech companies, is scarce," continued Dr. Allan.

The proceeds from the transaction will be used to support the continued development of IPLEX(TM), and the Company will carefully evaluate other options, which could include the distribution of a portion of the cash to shareholders.

As of December 31, 2008, Insmed had $2.4 million in cash on hand with an ongoing net cash burn of approximately $1.2 million per month. This transaction, in accordance with Virginia corporate law, does not require a shareholder vote, though it is conditional on certain closing requirements, including obtaining necessary consents.

RBC Capital Markets served as exclusive financial advisor to Insmed on the transaction and the review of strategic alternatives, and provided a fairness opinion to the Company's Board of Directors



12/2 2009 19:29 akademikeren 02584



Det var det panik før lukketid:-) Cash in hand 2,4 mio dollars, cashburn pr. month 1,2 mio dollar



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