Cambridge, Mass., April 3, 2017 – Cydan Development, Inc., an orphan drug accelerator dedicated to creating therapies that improve the lives of people living with rare genetic diseases, today announces that Vtesse, Inc., its first rare disease spin-out company, has been acquired by Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCMP). Following a collaboration with the National Center for Advancing Translations Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Vtesse was launched by Cydan in 2015 to advance its orphan drug candidate, VTS-270, for the treatment of Niemann-Pick Disease Type C (NPC).
Sucampo has acquired Vtesse, Inc. for an 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.
“We are pleased to see the tremendous progress in NPC that Vtesse has made with advancing VTS-270 into a fully enrolled, pivotal Phase2/3 trial. With the addition of Sucampo’s commercial expertise, once approved, NPC patients in the U.S. and around the globe will benefit,” said Chris Adams, Ph.D., co-founder and chief executive officer at Cydan. “The success of Vtesse, along with the advancement of Cydan’s second spin-out, Imara, are significant validations of the Cydan model to accelerate the development of meaningful rare disease therapies.”
In addition to today’s announcement on its acquisition, Vtesse also announced that its original investors including Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc., Bay City Capital LLC, Lundbeckfond Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA) and Pfizer Venture Investments (PVI), along with Sucampo shareholders, intend to establish a joint foundation to support further basic research and build disease awareness of NPC.