Cambridge, UK-based Acacia Pharma has agreed to a takeover from Eagle Pharmaceuticals that values the company at around $104 million.
As part of the transaction, NJ-based Eagle, a biotech with a focus on injectable products in the metabolic critical care and oncology areas, will snag two of Acacia’s marketed acute care products.
Acacia’s Barhemsys, which got the thumbs up from the U.S. FDA in Feb. 2020, is the first and only antiemetic approved by the agency for rescue treatment of postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) despite prophylaxis. It is also approved for patients with PONV who have not received prophylaxis treatment. Later that year in July, Acacia’s rapid onset sedative, Byfavo, was approved by the FDA for adults undergoing procedures lasting 30 minutes or less
Despite the future commercial potential of both drugs, uptake has been slow for Acacia. According to the company, which has been on the hunt for “strategic alternatives,” the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered “a significant latency of demand” for its drugs due to the postponement of surgical procedures.
For Eagle, the acquisition opportunity presented an ideal fit, both strategically and financially.
“In the face of further challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, many smaller underfunded companies experienced significant hurdles launching products. We, therefore, believe that Eagle is well suited to drive uptake of these two new products, building from Acacia Pharma’s established foundation since its launch, through our experienced and specialized hospital-based sales organization with minimal additional infrastructure,” said Scott Tarriff, Eagle’s president and CEO.
The transaction was approved by the boards of both companies and is expected to close in the late second quarter of 2022.