Vectura Group to buy Activaero for £108m


Will enable Vectura to build a therapeutic specialist in airways diseases

Vectura Group has acquired Activaero, a German respiratory pharmaceutical company for £108m to be funded through a combination of cash and equity.

The Chippenham, UK-headquartered pulmonary drug company will pay £79m on completion, comprising £38m in cash and £42m in new Vectura ordinary shares and a further £29m in cash on 1 August 2015.

In addition, Activaero shareholders may receive additional payments of up to £5m for future transactions relating to Activaero’s technology.

Activaero's proprietary smart nebuliser-based technology, called Favorite (Flow And VOlume Regulated Inhalation TEchnology), allows drug deposition into targeted areas of the lung and is currently in seven clinical and several preclinical stage trials.

The company also has three device families, Akita Jet, Apixneb and Fox, which cover both desktop and portable inhaler segments and offer improved delivery efficiency, consistent and reproducible dosing and treatment tailored to breathing capacity.

The acquisition is highly complementary to Vectura’s core capabilities

A marketing authorisation application will be filed for Activaero's leading asset, Favolir, following the completion of an additional clinical trial in Europe, which will also support a US filing. The EU filing is expected in late 2017, with the US to follow in 2020.

Vectura said the combined company would benefit from diversified income streams; a balanced pipeline of late-stage and early-stage assets across a range of indications; access to proprietary, smart nebuliser-based technology; and the opportunity to develop a wide range of molecular entities, ranging from small molecules to biologics.

Chris Blackwell, Chief Executive of Vectura, said: 'The acquisition is highly complementary to Vectura’s core capabilities, in-line with our strategic priorities and, I believe, will enable us to build a therapeutic specialist in airways diseases. With this transaction, we create a much stronger entity with a balanced offering of products and technologies, both partnered and unpartnered.'

Gerhard Scheuch, Founder and Chief Executive of Activaero, added: 'Vectura is well positioned to develop Activaero’s assets using its development expertise and building on its success in deriving value from its products.'

Vectura also plans to place approximately 33.6m new ordinary shares, which is equivalent to 9.9% of the company's share capital prior to the placement.

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The net funds raised from the placing will be used to progress the development of Favolir. Any remaining proceeds will be used to fund the development of the enlarged group’s pipeline.