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Actelion snags lymphoma drug in $250M buyout deal for Ceptaris

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Switzerland's Actelion ($ATLN) has struck a deal to buy Malvern, PA-based Ceptaris Therapeutics for $250 million--provided the FDA comes through with an approval of its T-cell lymphoma drug.

Ceptaris gets $25 million down and the rest on the approval of Valchlor, a drug designed for early-stage mycosis fungoides-type cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Valchlor has a PDUFA date of Aug. 27.

A year ago the FDA rejected Ceptaris' application, but never spelled out what the problem was. Nevertheless, Vivo Ventures, Palo Alto Investors, Burrill & Co., Aperture Venture Partners, Osage, BioAdvance and new backer Third Point put together a $10 million D round to allow the company to respond to the CRL.

"If this transaction is consummated, we can build a product portfolio beyond our PAH franchise," says Nicholas Franco, the chief business development officer at Actelion. "We expect the transaction to become cash-accretive before the end of 2014."

"We believe that Actelion's expertise in rare diseases make it an ideal partner to deliver Valchlor to patients globally," said Ceptaris CEO Stephen Tullman. "We look forward to advancing Valchlor together to meet the needs of patients. We appreciate the ongoing support of our investors, led by Vivo Ventures (represented by Albert Cha), who have enabled us to develop Valchlor."

- here's the release

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