Sucampo Pharmaceuticals Inc., a global biopharmaceutical company, and Vtesse Inc., a privately-held rare disease company, announced that Sucampo has acquired Vtesse for upfront consideration of $200 million. Sucampo funded the acquisition through the issuance of 2,782,678 shares of Sucampo Class A common stock and $170 million of cash on hand; no external financing was utilized.
Acquisition provides Sucampo with VTS-270, which is in a pivotal study for the treatment of Niemann-Pick Disease Type C1 (NPC-1). VTS-270 is a well-characterized mixture of 2-hydroxypropyl-ß-cyclodextrins (HPßCD) with a specific compositional fingerprint that distinguishes it from other HPßCD mixtures. It is administered by an intrathecal infusion to directly address the neurological manifestations of disease. Preclinical and early clinical studies suggest that the administration of VTS-270 may slow or stop certain indicators of NPC-1, an ultra-orphan, progressive and fatal disease caused by a defect in lipid transport within the cell.
Vtesse employees are expected to join Sucampo to continue the important mission they have embarked upon at Vtesse of bringing an NPC therapy to market.
Additionally, Vtesse and Sucampo intend to establish a foundation after the closing of the acquisition to support research related to NPC disease. The establishment of this foundation is a testament to the high level of commitment the Vtesse and Sucampo teams have to scientific advancement regarding NPC. Subject to finalizing the terms of the foundation, Vtesse’s equity holders have set aside a portion of the transaction proceeds to contribute to the foundation, and Sucampo intends to match the Vtesse shareholder contribution from its corporate funds.
“At the time of Vtesse’s launch in January 2015, Vtesse’s original investors recognized the imperative of driving VTS-270 rapidly through clinical development to secure the data for regulatory approvals and to deliver the drug candidate to the NPC-1 community. Sucampo is a global partner that is fully behind the original mission of Vtesse and its investment group. We’re very proud to join their shareholders in establishing a foundation that will support further research of and awareness-building for NPC disease,” said David Mott, General Partner, NEA, and Vtesse’s Board Chair.