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Ipsen buys Syntaxin

pharmafile | July 16, 2013 | News story | Research and Development, Sales and Marketing R&D, ipsen, neurology, syntaxin, tsi 

French pharma group Ipsen has snapped up privately-owned UK life sciences firm Syntaxin for an upfront payment of €28 million and milestones that could reach €130 million.

Syntaxin, based in Oxfordshire, specialises in botulinum toxin engineering and was already about 10%-owned by Ipsen after the companies began collaborating in 2010.

Ipsen chairman Marc de Garidel said that Syntaxin would help boost the manufacturer’s neurology R&D capability and the companies are expected to be fully integrated by the end of the year.

“This is an important step in our ambition to become a global leader in targeted debilitating diseases,” he added. “The acquisition of Syntaxin is a considerable addition to our neurology franchise and is fully aligned with our strategy of focus.”

Syntaxin works on two fronts, using its Targeted Secretion Inhibitor (TSI) technology platform as well as its expertise in botulinum neurotoxin biology.

Ipsen has set much store by reinforcing its core technological platforms, peptides and toxins – and Syntaxin has 75 granted patents and over 130 pending.

So far their three-year association has included a global partnership to explore the discovery and development of new compounds which Syntaxin finds and Ipsen assesses.

Syntaxin also has a tie-up with Allergan, the maker of Botox, with whom the UK company’s most advanced asset – AGN 214868 (Senrebotase) – is currently in Phase II trials for the treatment of post-herpetic neuralgia and idiopathic overactive bladder and urinary incontinence.  

Syntaxin co-founders Keith Foster and John Chaddock will join Ipsen to help build a new toxin platform.

“Syntaxin’s recombinant toxin expertise and Ipsen’s know-how will be a powerful combination to release the full potential of the TSI platform across Ipsen’s therapeutic areas,” Ipsen said in a statement.

The French firm has three franchises – neurology, endocrinology and uro-oncology – and spent €250 million on R&D last year. The group has 4,900 employees worldwide.

Adam Hill

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