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Boston Scientific Pharma

Boston Scientific will sell its BTG Specialty Pharmaceuticals business for $800m in cash to SERB, a Brussels-based specialty pharmaceuticals company, the companies announced on 1 December.

The deal, worth about four times the business’s annual revenue, will close in the first half of 2021, subject to customary regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

Boston Scientific has been planning to divest the BTG Specialty Pharmaceuticals as a “non-core business” since it acquired BTG plc for $4.2bn in August 2019. (Also see "BTG Shoots For $1 Billion With Focus On Interventional Medicine" - Medtech Insight, 22 Sep, 2014.)

The company acquired BTG for its line of interventional therapies to complement its existing interventional cardiology and oncology device businesses.

Former BTG products, now sold by Boston Scientific, include the TheraSphere Y-90 radioactive glass microspheres used to treat liver cancer, DC Bead embolization and chemoembolization polymer beads for colorectal and liver cancer, and the LC Bead LUMI radiopaque embolic beads for embolization of hypervascular tumors and arteriovenous malformations. (Also see "Boston Scientific's Drive To Add To Core Strength Continues With BTG Buy" - In Vivo, 22 Nov, 2018.)

Boston Scientific also markets BTG’s EKOS ultrasonic device to help dissolve vascular blood clots, the Sentry bioconvertible inferior vena cava filter, and crossing and anchoring devices used in vascular interventions.

Boston Scientific originally predicted the acquisition of BTG’s interventional products would yield at least $175m in synergies, but the company now expects the ultimate value of the acquisition will exceed that target, according to Jeff Mirviss, president of Boston Scientific’s peripheral interventions business.

To comply with antitrust regulations, Boston Scientific sold BTG’s Oncozene and Embozene Tandem microsphere product lines, as well as the Embozene bland embolic bead technology, to Varian Medical for $90m shortly before closing the deal for BTG. Those products generated about $21m in revenue in 2018.

As part of the BTG acquisition, Boston Scientific also acquired BTG’s right to royalties from prostate cancer drug Zytiga (abiraterone acetate), which is marketed by J&J/Janssen under a license agreement. Boston Scientific sold that royalty stream to Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System for $256m in November 2019 and used the proceeds to help pay down debt.

SERB Gains Antidote Drugs

Backed by Charterhouse Capital Partners, SERB owns a diversified portfolio of prescription medicines for treating rare and life-threatening diseases, including neurologic and metabolic disorders.

The BTG Specialty Pharmaceuticals business includes DigiFab (digoxin immune fab) to treat life-threatening toxicity from digoxin, a common drug used to treat heart failure, and Voraxaze (glucarpidase), which treats toxic concentrations of methotrexate, a chemotherapy drug. (Also see "EU: BTG Tries Again With Voraxaze After 15 Years" - Pink Sheet, 14 Sep, 2020.)

BTG Specialty Pharmaceuticals also markets CroFab (crotalidae polyvalent immune fab), the only anti-venom treatment approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to treat rattlesnake bites.

These three drugs are expected to generate approximately $210m in revenue for the full year 2020.

Under the terms of the deal, SERB will add 280 former BTG employees and acquire five facilities around world.

"This transaction will help the BTG Specialty Pharmaceuticals business enhance its potential as a fully integrated specialty pharmaceuticals platform," said Anthony Higham, president of BTG Specialty Pharmaceuticals. "We believe our capabilities and portfolio strongly complement those of SERB, and we look forward to this next chapter as we continue to positively impact the lives of patients and the people who care for them."

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