Firm gains license to market drug in the U.S. for 10 years and $15.5 million in cash.

Cornerstone Therapeutics entered a transaction valued at $70 million to obtain rights to Chiesi Farmaceutici’s Curosurf, a drug for respiratory distress syndrome in premature infants. The agreement gives Cornerstone a 10-year license with renewable rights for the U.S., $15.5 million in cash, and first right to offer any new product or technology Chiesi intends to market in the U.S.

Under the terms of the agreement, Cornerstone will issue 11.9 million shares of common stock. Additionally, Craig Collard, Cornerstone’s president and CEO, and Steven Lutz, Cornerstone’s evp, manufacturing and trade, will sell an aggregate of 1.6 million shares to Chiesi at $5.50 per share. Chiesi will thus own approximately 51% of Cornerstone’s fully diluted common shares outstanding.

Curosurf, which is a natural lung surfactant, is currently available in over 50 countries including the U.S. and most of Europe. It has reportedly been administered to approximately 1,000,000 infants since 1992.

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