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February 25, 2008

Cypress to Pay $37.5M in Cash Upfront for Proprius Pharmaceuticals

  • Cypress Bioscience will acquire Proprius Pharmaceuticals with an initial fee of $37.5 million in cash. Additionally, Cypress will tender another $37.5 million upon achievement of certain development milestones related to Proprius’ therapeutic candidates.

    Proprius’ portfolio of personalized medicine laboratory services focusing on the rheumatoid arthritis (RA) market will complement Cypress’ anticipated launch of milnacipran, a fibromyalgia treatment currently under FDA review.

    Proprius’ diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive technologies focus on rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The nearest-term commercial opportunities include an early RA prediction technology, which will help determine the likelihood of developing the disease in patients with undifferentiated arthritis, according to Cypress. Also, a methotrexate (MTX) polyglutamates monitoring assay, which helps physicians optimize MTX therapy, is also expected to launch soon, Cypress adds. Proprius’ early clinical-stage therapeutic candidates include a pain treatment and an RA therapy.

    Cypress plans to build a sales force around the expected approval of milnacipran that will also handle the acquired line of testing devices and laboratory services. The focus will be on rheumatologists and other pain specialists.

    “In other fields, like gastroenterology, offering diagnostic services in combination with therapeutic products is a proven means of establishing consultative partnerships with specialists and dramatically increases time with, and value to, physicians,” points out Michael Walsh, founder, president and CEO of Proprius. Walsh believes that the firm’s clinical laboratory services is unique in rheumatology and will become an important component of how rheumatologists manage their patients with rheumatoid arthritis.