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Ipsen secures development platform with Syntaxin Purchase

Authored by James Sheppard

The French biopharmaceutical company, Ipsen has completed the purchase of UK biotech company Syntaxin. The deal is worth an estimated $37m upfront and promises $170m more in milestone payments. Payments are linked to the success of Syntaxin’s lead asset its agromegaly drug.

Syntaxin was focused on developing its rare disease drug, SXN101959 and was currently in phase II clinical trials. Syntaxin has a wealth of experience in the development of Botox which is supported by an extensive patent portfolio with 75 granted patents and over 130 patent pending. Further to this, Syntaxin was partnered with global Botox leader Allergan on the development of therapies for chronic pain.

“This is an important step in our ambition to become a global leader in targeted debilitating diseases. The acquisition of Syntaxin is a considerable addition to our neurology franchise,” Ipsen head Marc de Garidel said.

Syntaxin’s founders, Dr Keith Foster and Dr John Craddock, will join Ipsen in an effort to build a botulinum toxin (Boxtox) biology platform for new drug development covering a wide range of therapeutic areas.  The transaction fits into Ipsen’s strategy to reinforce its core technological platforms, peptides and toxins.

The venture capital backed Syntaxin was funded by a number of key industry players including: SROne, Abingworth, Lundbeckfond Ventures and J&J Development. In 2010 Ipsen joined a consortium of investors to plunge $29m into the company taking a 10% stake making them a likely purchaser.

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