Jazz Pharmaceuticals Buys US Biotech Cavion
Dublin, Ireland-based Jazz Pharmaceuticals has acquired US biotech Cavion for a potential total sum of $312.5 million. The transaction, through which Cavion has merged with a Jazz subsidiary, includes an upfront payment of $52.5 million with the potential of additional payments of up to $260 million upon achieving certain clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones.
The Charlottesville, Virginia-based firm is a clinical-stage biotech that is working on treatments aimed at modulating the T-type calcium channel and restoring the brain’s normal rhythms to treat chronic and rare neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease tremor, neuropathic pain, epilepsy with absence seizures and essential tremor.
Cavion’s lead candidate is a late-stage molecule called CXX-8998, which is being developed to treat patients with essential tremor, a disorder that causes parts of the body to shake uncontrollably.
“The acquisition of Cavion demonstrates our commitment to further diversify our pipeline and product portfolio with the addition of CX-8998, which has the potential to provide a meaningful treatment option to patients,” said Jazz Pharmaceuticals’ executive vice president, research and development, Robert Iannone.
In July, Jazz signed a deal to purchase Redx Pharma’s pan-RAF inhibitor program for potentially treating RAF and RAS mutant tumors. Jazz has agreed to make an upfront payment of $3.5 million, with Redx eligible for another $203 million in development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments, along with mid-single digit percentage tiered royalties.
Redx will perform certain pre-clinical activities under a separate collaboration agreement with Jazz, which will be responsible for further development, regulatory activities and commercialization.
Jazz said that mutations leading to uncontrolled signalling via the RAS-RAF-MAPK pathway are seen in more than one third of all cancers, and the pan-RAF inhibitor program aims to overcome resistance mechanisms associated with clinically approved B-RAF selective drugs.