BTG snaps up new technologies in $420M deal splurge

In a bid to join the billion-dollar sales club, the U.K.'s BTG has snapped up a pair of operations with new delivery tech and a treatment for deep vein thrombosis for up to $420 million--most of that in cash. And it's selling a chunk of shares to help pay for it all.

BTG agreed to pay $180 million in cash and up to $40 million in milestones for Seattle-based Ekos, which will provide control of EkoSonic, a new technology approved in the U.S. and Europe for treating blood clots. The biotech has been developing the product for use in hospitals--making it a good match for BTG's VariSolve, up for an approval to treat varicose veins. And BTG nabbed the targeted therapies division of Nordion for $200 million, getting its hands on Therasphere, which uses radioactive glass beads in a targeted approach to treating liver cancer.

BTG placed 32.8 million shares in the company to help cover the cost. And some analysts noted that the buyouts could make BTG a more attractive takeover target in its own right.

"This is an exciting opportunity to build on our existing interventional oncology business and to create a commercial and scientific leader in the sector," says Louise Makin, the CEO. "We believe that the combination will be highly beneficial to both patients and physicians as it brings together expertise that will be applied to the development and use of locoregional therapies for liver cancer."

"There is increasing recognition of the benefits of interventional treatment of severe blood clots," she added. "Ekos is a fast-growing and profitable business, and the acquisition provides an exciting opportunity to build on our existing interventional medicine business and to enter an area with a significant addressable market opportunity. Furthermore, we see significant revenue benefits from the shared customer base both with our existing interventional medicine and specialty pharmaceuticals field forces and with our planned Varisolve field force."

- here's the release on Ekos
- see the release on Therasphere
- read the Reuters report