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Takeover will create UK leader in pulmonary products

Published on 29/11/06 at 09:38am

Pulmonary product development in the UK has received a boost following the takeover by biotech company Vectura of the drug developer Innovata for £131 million.

The two companies say together they will create a UK leader in pulmonary product development, a rapidly growing area in the pharma industry.

The acquisition is expected to be complete by mid-January 2007.

Vectura has hinted that the takeover could lead to jobs being axed at Innovata's headquarters in Ruddington, Nottingham, but says it intends to make full use of the site in developing pharmaceutical products.

A spokesman commented: "While it is likely that after completion of the deal there will be certain savings, Innovata is pleased to note that there is likely to be continued employment for the majority of Innovata's Ruddington employees."

Vectura, based in Chippenham, Wiltshire, is an emerging pharma company specialising in inhaled medicines for treating lung diseases and pulmonary conditions.

It achieved one of the largest fundraisings in the UK biotech sector during 2006 after securing £43 million to fund growth.

Separately, Vectura reported net losses of £1.5 million in the six months to September.

Innovata was formed in July 2005 when ML Laboratories acquired Quadrant Technologies and the remaining minority interest in Innovata Biomed. The company has more than 90 employees, of whom 65 are engaged in R&D, mainly based in Ruddington.

It specialises in the development of pulmonary products for the treatment of respiratory disorders and other serious diseases. In addition, the company has a portfolio of non-pulmonary products with growing revenues. It has established development and marketing partnerships with a number of pharma companies, including Baxter, Merck, UCB and Otsuka.

The acquisition will create an enlarged group that has royalties from eight marketed products and 12 products in full development.

Innovata was given the go-ahead last summer from the FDA to start marketing Adept, a treatment for internal scarring. It is estimated that Adept could reach peak sales of around £80 million.

Ian Kent, Innovatas chairman, said: "We believe size is important in the biotech sector and the combination of Vectura and Innovata will result in a leading pulmonary development company with the skills and resources to leverage a pipeline of considerable potential, as well as a broader range of formulation, device and drug delivery capabilities."

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