Vancouver, BC. July 13, 2015 –
Aequus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX-V: AQS) (“Aequus” or “the Company”), a specialty pharmaceutical company with a focus on developing, advancing and promoting differentiated products in Canada, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire TeOra Health Ltd. (“TeOra”), a privately held Canadian specialty pharmaceutical company, as part of its growth strategy to build a commercial arm in Canada. Consideration for the acquisition will be in the form of 420,000 of Aequus common shares to be issued upon closing, and an additional 2,940,000 common shares which will be held in escrow and released based on the achievement of certain milestones and performance targets and additional product launches. If all milestones are met, total consideration for the acquisition will be the issuance of 3,360,000 common shares of Aequus to TeOra shareholders. Closing of the transaction is expected to occur on or before July 27, 2015.
This acquisition further strengthens Aequus’ expertise and capabilities to execute on the Company’s stated growth strategy to establish a Canadian commercial infrastructure. Since inception in 2014, TeOra has built a strong team of former pharmaceutical executives with a focus on licensing, acquiring and promoting high-quality prescription medications across Canada in focused therapeutic areas with novel delivery systems or dosages, branded generics or late life cycle patented brands. TeOra recently entered into a binding term sheet for the promotion of an ophthalmology product in Canada with promotional efforts expected to begin the second half of 2015 with net revenue potential for the combined company over $3M in 2016. TeOra is also in negotiations for multiple commercial stage products within hospital specialty markets expected to be announced by year end. Ian Ball, CEO of TeOra, will lead Aequus’ commercial efforts as Chief Commercialization Officer. Ian has over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, with a proven track record leading multinational organizations. He is a recognized leader in life cycle management with a background in both branded and generic pharmaceuticals. Most recently as the Global Head of Brand Maximization and Life Cycle Strategy with Novartis, he was responsible for leading the organization through the recent patent losses of both Diovan ® and Gleevec ®, generating incremental value of over $400 million. Ian also led the global strategy for life-cycle management across the entire Novartis portfolio with total revenues up to $42 billion.
The first product expected to be promoted under this new commercial arm for Aequus is a branded generic. Aequus will be promoting and distributing this product, which has been approved by Health Canada, in an effort to expand its usage in Canada through a wider reach to physicians benefiting a greater number of patients. The transaction requires no upfront or milestone payments; Aequus will receive revenues based on agreed upon percentages of net sales. Further details around the product and this agreement will be announced once promotional efforts have begun. Additionally, there are multiple commercial products that are currently under negotiation within ophthalmology, CNS (central nervous system), and potentially other complimentary hospital specialty therapeutic areas.
“We created Aequus with the goal of developing reformulations of existing products that would benefit patients, without subjecting ourselves or our shareholders to the risks of traditional drug development. Our entire business to date has been focused on the life-cycle management strategy of improving the method of delivery of existing approved medicines as they come off patent; we are very excited to bring on someone like Ian who has been executing life-cycle management strategy for years with one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world,” said Doug Janzen, President and CEO of Aequus. “We see this as an excellent opportunity to build on TeOra’s current strategy of leveraging their relationships and insights via creative product-commercialization structures, allowing us to add a number of new revenue-generating products in the near and mid-term without having to deploy a lot of dilutive capital to outright acquire these assets.”
“This deal is a hand in glove fit for TeOra and Aequus. We both have a clear therapeutic focus within our pipelines and the phasing of our launches allows for dynamic growth within our chosen specialty areas”, said Ian Ball, CEO of TeOra. “The TeOra team and I are looking forward to the immediate future and are confident in our ability to execute on the commercialization plans for a number of already identified programs, thereby adding additional revenue generating opportunities to the combined pipeline and continuing with the innovation on established molecules that the Aequus team is already working on.”
Aequus also announced the promotion of Anne Stevens to Chief Operating Officer. Ms. Stevens has been involved with the strategic growth of Aequus as a Director and VP of Corporate Development since its inception in 2013, and will continue to be focused on product and corporate strategy across the Aequus pipeline portfolio. Ms. Stevens brings over a decade of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and is a co-founder and Senior Partner at Northview Lifesciences with a proven background in portfolio management, business development, alliance management, market research and sales.
TeOra Health Ltd. is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the acquisition, licensing and promotion of high quality prescription medications across Canada in ophthalmology and transplant. For further information, please visit www.teora-health.com.
Aequus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX-V: AQS) is a Vancouver-based specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing, advancing and promoting differentiated products in Canada. Aequus’ development pipeline focuses on enhancing delivery methods for approved drugs that are limited by non-compliance, high frequency dosing, first-pass metabolism side-effects, painful injections, or where the therapeutic profile can be improved by making an alternative delivery system available. Aequus is developing several products in neurology and psychiatry with a goal of addressing the need for improved medication adherence through enhanced delivery systems. Aequus intends to commercialize its internal programs within Canada and to establish strategic partnerships to accelerate and maximize the potential of its product candidates worldwide. For further information, please visit www.aequuspharma.ca.