Grifols orchestrates $116M deal to grab PhIII antibiotic

Barcelona-based Grifols has stepped up to fund the late-stage development of Aradigm's inhaled formulations of ciprofloxacin--Pulmaquin and Lipoquin--for non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis. Grifols has agreed to foot up to $65 million of the Phase III bill, with a promise of $25 million in development milestones for a successful outcome. And Grifols is buying up a 35% stake in Aradigm at a cost of $26 million.

Aradigm, a penny stock company, is also getting a $15.4 million shot in the arm from existing Aradigm shareholders, including Tavistock Life Sciences Company and accounts managed by First Eagle Investment Management, LLC, and new investors Great Point Partners, which are buying shares in the biotech.

Ciproflaxin is a widely used antibiotic. Aradigm has been working on a once-a-day formulation encapsulated in liposomes that allow for a sustained release of the drug for cystic fibrosis patients who experience lung infections.

"Pulmaquin will complement Grifols existing Prolastin-C business. There is significant overlap between Bronchiectasis and Alpha1 physicians and patients," said Ramon Riera, Grifols' global commercial division president. When launched, Grifols will leverage its existing Pulmonary sales team to commercialize Pulmaquin.

- here's the press release