Ferrer to add drug aerosol delivery tech through Alexza acquisition

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Image: iStock
Image: iStock

Related tags Subsidiary Patient Epilepsy

Grupo Ferrer Internacional will acquire Alexza Pharmaceuticals for around $2m, adding the Staccato aerosol system to its drug delivery offerings.

The deal announced yesterday sees Barcelona, Spain-headquartered Ferrer enter into a definitive agreement to buy Alexza for $0.90 per share, or roughly $2m in cash.

The company will become a wholly-owned subsidiary, adding the commercialised antipsychotic product Adasuve (loxapine inhaled) along with the accompanying drug delivery system, Staccato, to Ferrer’s portfolio.

Staccato is Alexza’s hand-held inhaler designed to deliver a pure drug aerosol to the deep lung. The platform consists of a heat package with a stainless steel substrate, onto which a thin film of unformulated drug is coated. When the patient draws a normal breath through the Staccato system, the substrate surface instantaneously heats to create a condensation aerosol.

“We firmly believe that the Staccato technology will change the lives of patients with severe mental and neurological disorders,”​ said Jordi Ramentol, Ferrer’s CEO. “At the same time it will help healthcare professionals to improve their management in the increasingly digitalised and personalised healthcare context.”

Along with Adasuve, Alexza is using its Staccato platform in developing an inhaled alprazolam for acute repetitive seizures in epileptic patients, inhaled zaleplon for insomnia, and inhaled fentanyl for breakthrough pain.

We see Ferrer as the ideal company to acquire Alexza as we continue to strive toward global commercial success with Adasuve and to re-energize our Staccato-based product pipeline,​” Alexza’s CEO Thomas King said in a statement.

“Over the past four years, we have come to appreciate their professionalism, passion, dedication and commitment to Alexza's technologies, products and people.”

The deal is expected to go close in the second quarter of 2016.

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