EDISON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oceana Therapeutics LLC, a privately owned global company focused on commercializing best-in-class specialty therapeutics, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement for the sale of its operating subsidiary, Oceana Therapeutics, Inc. to Salix Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SLXP) of Raleigh, NC. The all cash transaction valued at $300 million has been approved by the Board of Directors of each company and is subject to routine closing conditions, including Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust approval, and is expected to close before year-end 2011.
Gregory Stokes, Oceana’s EVP, Business Development, commented, “After conducting a thorough review of our strategic objectives, the Oceana management team concluded that this sale creates compelling value for all parties, including investors in both companies as well as the physicians and patients expected to benefit from the combination of Oceana’s commercial assets, Deflux®* and Solesta®*, with Salix’s strengths in gastroenterology treatments.”
Deflux is approved in the U.S, Europe and elsewhere for the treatment of vesicoureteral reflux (VUR), an anatomical bladder defect afflicting children. It is the only bulking agent approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the endoscopic pediatric treatment of VUR, grades II-IV. Solesta is a biocompatible tissue bulking agent developed as a nonsurgical treatment for fecal incontinence (FI) that can be administered in outpatient procedure taking approximately 10 minutes without the need for anesthesia. Solesta was approved by the FDA in May of this year for the treatment of FI in adult patients who fail conservative therapy.
Led by John T. Spitznagel, Oceana’s Chairman & CEO, and David S. Tierney, MD, President & COO, Oceana was founded in mid-2008 and reunited a veteran team of healthcare professionals, many who pioneered the Buy & Build, Search & Develop specialty pharmaceutical model of selectively identifying, acquiring and developing novel prescription drugs and drug candidates.
“At Oceana we broke new ground by greatly expanding the Buy & Build, Search & Develop model to encompass a broader range of products, including specialty medical devices as well as pharmaceuticals.” said Spitznagel. “We also broadened our sights to pursue international product opportunities, and as early as mid-2009, within a year of start-up, Oceana was generating a revenue stream through the worldwide sales of Deflux.”
Tierney added, “Today Oceana is truly a global company with a sales and distribution network encompassing dozens of countries.” He further noted, “Both John and I recognize and applaud the contributions and excellence of the entire Oceana team who have driven our Company’s rapid growth and success.”
Spitznagel and Tierney first collaborated in the second half of the 1990’s when they joined Roberts Pharmaceutical and spearheaded a turnaround in Roberts’ earnings into rapid growth, which, in turn, led to that company’s purchase by Shire plc (NASDAQ:SHPGY) in December 1999. Collectively, over the past decade, the Oceana management team has built substantial value in other specialty healthcare companies including: ESP Pharma, acquired by PDL BioPharma (NASDAQ: PDLI); Esprit Pharma, merged into Allergan (NYSE: AGN), and Valera Pharmaceuticals, now part of Endo Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ENDP).
Jefferies & Company, Inc. is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Oceana and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is acting as Oceana’s legal counsel in the transaction. Wells Fargo Securities, LLC is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Salix and Covington & Burling LLP is acting as legal counsel to Salix in the transaction.
About Oceana Therapeutics
Oceana Therapeutics is committed to commercializing best-in-class therapeutics to address unmet and under-satisfied medical needs with a focus on colorectal, gastroenterology and urological diseases. With executive offices in Edison, NJ and European operations headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, Oceana is exceptionally well positioned to pursue worldwide opportunities to acquire and maximize the potential of approved and late-stage specialty therapeutics, including devices, pharmaceuticals, and diagnostics. The Company’s growing portfolio of specialty therapeutics includes Deflux®*, available internationally for the pediatric urinary condition vesicoureteral reflux, and Solesta®*, a new nonsurgical treatment option for patients afflicted with fecal (bowel) incontinence. Oceana is a privately held company with investment support from the leading venture capital and private equity firms of Kelso & Company and Frazier Healthcare Ventures. For additional information visit www.OceanaThera.com. Additional information about Deflux and Solesta, including prescribing and safety information, is available, respectively, at www.Deflux.com and www.SolestaInfo.com.
* Deflux® and Solesta® are registered trademarks of Q-Med AB of Uppsala Sweden; Oceana Therapeutics acquired worldwide sales and distribution rights to both products in June 2009.