Medicines Co. buys out Rempex's pipeline for hospital-acquired infections

The Medicines Company ($MDCO) is taking a deep dive into hospital-borne infection treatments, signing a deal worth up to $464 million to pick up Rempex Pharmaceuticals and its fleet of pathogen-fighting drugs.

Under the deal, The Medicines Company paid out $140 million up front and is on the line for $214 million in development and regulatory milestones and $120 million in commercial royalties. In exchange, the company inherits Rempex's promising pipeline, which includes in-development treatments for the three most common pathogens among hospitalized patients.

Leading the way is Carbavance, a mid-stage beta-lactamase inhibitor designed to combat serious infections by shutting down a bacteria-released enzyme that spurs drug resistance, killing a pathogen's defenses before administering the antibiotic carbapenem. Rempex already markets Minocin IV, designed to treat drug-resistant Acinetobacter infections, and the company is working on an improved formulation of the compound with eyes on a 2014 FDA application.

The Medicines Company expects Rempex's assets to jump-start its hospital solutions portfolio, giving it potentially market-leading treatments in each stage of development, the company said. Rempex believes Carbavance can outperform any antibiotic on the market or in development for multidrug-resistant, gram-negative infections, and The Medicines Company CEO Clive Meanwell sees ample promise in the company's discovery-stage treatments, too.

"Acute and intensive care hospitals around the world face rapid and increasing antibacterial resistance, especially to gram-negative pathogens," Meanwell said in a statement. "The assets of Rempex, particularly Carbavance, will allow us to intensify our efforts to save lives, alleviate suffering and contribute to the economics of healthcare by serving leading hospitals."

The Medicines Company's latest deal comes just months after it signed on to spend up to $240 million for Dutch biotech ProFibrix and its biologic treatment to stem bleeding during surgery. The New Jersey company has been on the upswing over the last year, rebounding from a few late-stage failures that forced it to cut staff and refocus. So far this year, the biotech has scored some promising Phase III results for its blood thinner, cangrelor, and licensed a promising PCSK9-inhibiting treatment from Alnylam ($ALNY) for up to $205 million.

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