BioTox scoops Bio-Quant as Apricus off-loads preclinical sectors

By Natalie Morrison

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pre-clinical development

BioTox Sciences is flexing its drug discovery and preclinical testing muscle after acquiring Bio-Quant from its owner Apricus Biosciences.

BioTox Sciences, a non-clinical contract research organisation (CRO) based in San Diego, will hand over a minimum of US $5 million (€ 3.6 million) in upfront in the agreement with Apricus to win the preclinical CRO.

The deal also stated that fellow San Diego company Apricus – a biopharmaceutical company specializing in NexACT drug delivery technology – would receive future earn-out payments, which has the potential to hit US $20 million (€14 million) over the next ten years according to BioTox’s currently projected revenues.

Two heads are better than one

It seems the deal is not only beneficial for BioTox’s expansion in the drug discovery and preclinical research market.

BioTox President Sami Abundi believes the acquisition is also a key opportunity to improve its preclinical customer services through integrating research software.

He said: “We can now take our clients' compounds through the preclinical drug development process and utilize state-of-the-art capabilities by integrating Bio-Quant's study execution software platform Intranet with BioTox's sponsor friendly and GLP compliant study data acquisition software, called iAdavantage, and thus accelerate the development process economically and effectively.”

Eyes on the prize

Apricus’ decision to outsource its primary preclinical CRO Bio-Quant was a result of the businesses new aim; to focus on commercializing late stage products with another of its subsidiaries NexMed,

Late stage products like Vitaros (alprostadil) cream for erectile dysfunction, as well as its NexACT technology and associated treatments for onychomycosis, psoriasis, sexual dysfunction and cancer are all now the centre of attention.

Apricus has, however, retained all research conducted by Bio-Quant for NexMed, as well as the profitable Bio-Quant diagnostic kit business.

Dr Bassam Damaj, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Apricus Biosciences said of the decision: “While our Bio-Quant subsidiary has been driving revenues over the past year, this divesture represents a key strategic decision for Apricus Bio, as licensing revenues from Vitaros have increased during the first half of 2011, and are currently projected to constitute the majority of our revenue stream for the remainder of 2011.”

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