Topigen has a Phase II asthma therapy and a preclinical COPD candidate.

Topigen Pharmaceuticals, a Canadian-based company focused on respiratory therapeutics, is being acquired by Pharmaxis, an Australian firm involved in chronic respiratory and immune disorders. The all-stock transaction includes the issuance of 3.2 million shares of Pharmaxis stock on closing with an additional 5.0 million shares to be issued subject to the achievement of milestones specified in the purchase agreement.

“Pharmaxis has the resources, expertise, and track record of success in bringing important new therapies through development to treat respiratory disorders and is therefore a valuable fit for Topigen’s assets,” remarks Mark Parry-Billings, CEO of Topigen. “This transaction provides a promising future for our novel programs to treat asthma and COPD, the potential to realize a return for our shareholders, and in the long-term, promise for patients.”

Topigen’s pipeline of drugs is based on its multitargeted oligonucleotide technology. The lead candidate, TPI ASM8, is in Phase II development for the management of moderate-to-severe asthma. A second compound, TPI 1100, is in preclinical development for COPD.

Pharmaxis’ lead respiratory disease drug candidate is Bronchitol, which is designed to reduce the amount of mucus build-up in the lungs of patients suffering from chronic respiratory conditions. It is being developed for cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, and chronic bronchitis. Bronchitol is a formulation of mannitol administered as a dry powder in a hand-held inhaler.

Pharmaxis has filed a marketing application at the EMEA to use Bronchitol for treatment of cystic fibrosis. Bronchitol is also in Phase III trials for bronchiectasis.

Pharmaxis CEO Alan Robertson, Ph.D., believes that Topigen’s potential new medicines are an ideal fit for Pharmaxis. “We have sought to expand our product pipeline and utilize our existing clinical development capacity with an additional Phase II product.

“The Topigen product, ASM8, is due to report the results of its Phase II dosing trial in the first half of this year. It has an attractive clinical profile, and there remains a strong medical need for new products in the severe and specialist-treated asthma market. On closing, Topigen will bring to the combined company sufficient cash resources to complete the current Phase IIa study and the next clinical milestone,” Dr. Robertson adds.

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