US Government anthrax vaccine contractor Emergent BioSolutions has announced plans to buy Cangene in its second biodefense-focused deal in a year.
The deal will see Emergent pay $222m for Winnipeg, Canada-based Cangene which, in addition to making a range of blood disorder drugs and antiviral, also produces smallpox, botulism and anthrax treatments for the US Government.
This combination of biodefense contracting and commercial drugs was a key driver for the deal according to Emergent CEO Daniel J Abdun-Nabi, who said that the capabilities would be a good fit for his firm’s own role as an anthrax vaccine supplier .
“The addition of Cangene is expected to accelerate our growth driven by a substantially expanded biodefense franchise, a portfolio of approved specialty therapeutics sold through an established commercial infrastructure.”
Emergent is funding the takeover – which is expected to complete in the first quarter next year – through a combination of cash and new loans agreed with Bank of America Merrill Lynch along with PNC Bank and J.P. Morgan Chase Bank.
Abdun-Nabi also said the takeover target’s contract manufacturing business as an important motivator for the acquisition, citing Baltimore, US-based Cangene bioPharma – which offers fill/finish services for both liquid and lyophilised drugs as an additional benefit.
The Cangene deal is the second biodefense-focused acquisition Emergent has made this year. In August the firm bought the healthcare protective products division of Bracco Diagnostics, which makes a lotion designed for the removal of chemicals warfare agents.
That acquisition followed just a few weeks after Emergent’s anthrax vaccine product – BioThrax – was approved by regulators in Germany.