Medicines Co. snaps up an Atlas seedling and a promising anesthetic

The Medicines Company ($MDCO) bought out the shares of Annovation Biopharma it didn't already own, getting exclusive rights to a new anesthetic and scooping up a tiny biotech incubated by Atlas Venture.

At the heart of the deal is ABP-700, an intravenous anesthetic Annovation says has demonstrated itself to be potent and reversible in Phase I trials. The drug, based on technology licensed from Massachusetts General Hospital, is designed to allow for more controllable anesthesia than anything currently on the market, according to the company, potentially helping patients to wake up more quickly and safely after surgery.

Annovation launched back in 2012 as a build-to-buy project between Atlas and the Medicines Company, with the latter investing in the biotech's A round and agreeing to prespecified buyout terms if ABP-700 met its goals. The Medicines Company isn't disclosing the final price, but, as Xconomy points out, in its last earnings release the drugmaker divulged that it would pay $35.3 million for the roughly 65% of Annovation it didn't already own and promise up to $26.3 million more tied to development and regulatory milestones.

The deal brings Annovation's goal to full fruition, founder and Atlas Partner David Grayzel said, handing off ABP-700 to a group of drug developers with experience getting novel acute care products through the clinic and onto the market. And the Medicines Company, fresh off three regulatory successes in Europe, is blueprinting further studies of the drug for the second half of this year, CEO Clive Meanwell said.

"This is an exciting investigational new agent in an area where there have been few advances over the past 30 years," Meanwell said in a statement. "There are approximately 230 million surgical procedures per year worldwide, with over 60% in the developed world. This agent has the potential to improve the efficiency of care for all types of patients undergoing surgical procedures, both in the hospital and in outpatient settings."

- read the announcement
- here's the Xconomy story

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