AstraZeneca to pay up to $505M for Novexel

Not to be left out of the late-year deal frenzy, AstraZeneca revealed this morning that it will pay at least $350 million--and as much as $505 million--for Novexel, a French biotech company with a pipeline of therapies designed to target infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria in the hospital. Novexel's investors get $350 million in cash, $75 million in milestones and $80 million on the closing.

Novexel currently has two antibacterials in Phase II clinical development: the injectable beta-lactamase inhibitor, NXL104 and the oral streptogramin antibiotic, NXL103.

"Today's announcement highlights the significant progress that Novexel has made since it was spun out of Aventis Pharma S.A. in December 2004 and demonstrates the added value of placing promising assets in an entrepreneurial structure in France," says Novexel CEO Iain Buchanan. "I am confident that the acquired assets will receive continued investment from both AstraZeneca and Forest and will have the possibility to play an important therapeutic role to combat resistant organisms in the hospital."

- check out the Novexel's release