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AMAG Pharma to pay $50M up-front to acquire Perosphere

AMAG Pharmaceuticals Inc. will acquire Perosphere Pharmaceuticals, a private biotechnology company, for an up-front payment of $50 million.

Waltham, Mass.-based AMAG Pharma will acquire global rights to ciraparantag, Perosphere's antidote for certain anti-blood clotting drugs, which was granted fast-track review designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April 2015 and is protected under a patent through 2034.

Ciraparantag is being developed for patients treated with novel oral anticoagulants or low-molecular-weight heparin. These medicines are blood thinners that prevent the occurrence or increase of unwanted blood clots, with an associated risk of uncontrolled bleeding. The treatment is a small-molecule anticoagulant reversal agent, which re-establishes the body's ability to form clots.

According to Perosphere, about 1.5% to 2% of 6 million patients in the U.S. on novel oral anticoagulants or low-molecular-weight heparin treatments were at risk of serious bleeding complications.

Julie Krop, chief medical officer and executive vice president of development at AMAG Pharma, said the company will work with the FDA to confirm the design of a phase 3 program, which will be partially funded by an undisclosed global pharmaceutical company resting on the achievement of certain clinical milestones. The sponsor does not own any commercial rights to ciraparantag.

Under the merger agreement, AMAG Pharma will pay off $12 million of Perosphere's outstanding term loan and up to $6.2 million in other liabilities on the closing.

Shareholders of Perosphere can receive up to $365 million in future milestone payments. They are eligible to receive $140 million in regulatory milestones payments including $40 million upon approval by the European Medicines Agency. The remaining $225 million is tied to achievement of specified sales milestones.

AMAG Pharma expects to close the transaction in the first quarter of 2019 subject to closing conditions. The costs of the transaction do not change AMAG Pharma's earnings guidance of negative adjusted EBITDA of around $50 million in 2019.

AMAG Pharma intends to use a bedside coagulometer, an analyzer to test the coagulation efficiency of blood, in the phase 3 program. Perosphere Technologies Inc. is developing the coagulometer.