Alizé Pharma II said today it has been acquired by Jazz Pharmaceuticals for up to €18 million ($20.5 million), 4 years after the acquired company licensed its lead assets to a company that was later bought by Jazz.
Jazz Pharmaceuticals agreed to pay €8 million ($9.1 million) upfront and up to €10 million ($11.4 million) in payments tied to achieving regulatory milestones for Alizé Pharma II.
Created in 2008, Alizé Pharma II is one of a group of privately held biopharmaceutical companies focused on developing biopharmaceuticals, proteins, and peptides for the treatment of metabolic diseases and cancer.
The transaction did not involve the transfer of any employees to Jazz Pharmaceuticals from the Alizé Pharma group.
In February 2012, Alizé Pharma II licensed its lead asset Asparec® (pegcrisantaspase), a PEGylated recombinant L-asparaginase from Erwinia chrysanthemi, and related intellectual property to EUSA Pharma in return for undisclosed upfront and milestone payments. EUSA was acquired by Jazz Pharmaceuticals for up-to-$730 million in a deal completed 4 months later.
Asparec is in Phase II/III in acute lymphoblastic leukemia in patients with hypersensitivity to Escherichia coli–derived L-asparaginase. A pediatric Phase II/III trial was launched in 2014, a year after the candidate was granted the FDA’s Fast-Track designation.
Asparec has also won orphan drug designations from the FDA and the European Medicines Agency.
According to Alizé Pharma II, preclinical data had indicated that Asparec is both longer acting and less immunogenic than Jazz’s marketed drug Erwinaze®/Erwinase® (asparaginase), the currently available L-asparaginase derived from E. chrysanthemi.
Before the closing of the acquisition by Jazz Pharmaceuticals, shareholders in Alizé Pharma II were TAB Consulting, Octalfa, CEMA, and Sham Innovation Santé.
“It is in line with our business strategy, which is to develop promising clinical assets and divest them to the industry, whilst ensuring the sustainability of our drug development team and organization,” Thierry Abribat, president and founder of Alizé Pharma Group and manager, TAB Consulting, said in a statement.