The Medicines Company said today it has completed its acquisition of Annovation Biopharma for an undisclosed price.

The deal expands the buyer’s portfolio with Annovation compounds that include lead candidate ABP-700, an experimental intravenous anesthetic being developed for procedural sedation and general anesthesia in patients undergoing diagnostic or therapeutic procedures.

ABP-700 is a potent positive allosteric modulator of the γ–aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor, a ligand-gated ion channel, discovered by the laboratory of Douglas Raines, M.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

ABP-700 has demonstrated “potent and rapidly reversible anesthetic effects” in Phase I clinical studies, according to The Medicines Company. The company and principal investigators are expected to present data from the completed Phase I trials this fall. Ongoing clinical studies have expanded for ABP-700 and additional clinical trials are expected to launch in the second half of this year, the acquiring company said.

The Medicines Company sees a large market for ABP-700 in the approximately 230 million surgical procedures occurring each year worldwide, with more than 60% taking place in developed countries.

“This is an exciting investigational new agent in an area where there have been few advances over the past 30 years,” Clive Meanwell, MD, PhD, chairman and CEO of The Medicines Company, said in a statement. “This agent has the potential to improve the efficiency of care for all types of patients undergoing surgical procedures, both in the hospital and in outpatient settings.”

Added David Grayzel, MD, CEO of Annovation and Partner at Atlas Venture: “ABP-700 has the potential to transform surgical and procedural care.” Since its inception less than three years ago, he added, Annovation has focused on creating novel agents that allow precise and tailored control of anesthesia.

Atlas Venture joined The Medicines Company and Partners Innovation Fund (PIF) back in 2012 in leading an $8 million Series A financing intended to enable preclinical development through clinical proof of concept of ABP-700. PIF was launched with a total capital commitment of $35 million in 2007 by MGH and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the founders of Partners HealthCare, in order to commercialize innovations in medical informatics, diagnostics, drugs and devices that emerge from investigators affiliated with Partners institutions.

According to Annovation, the mechanism of action for ABP-700 is via potentiation of GABAA receptor activation, which leads to its sedative and anesthetic effects. ABP-700 contains an ester designed to undergo rapid hydrolysis in the body by nonspecific tissue esterases that produce an inactive metabolite.

The mechanism of deactivation is intended to result in a rapid and predictable offset profile, and has been used previously in approved drugs resulting in rapid inactivation of pharmacologic activity and a unique pharmacokinetic (PK) profile. APB-700’s PK allows for more precise, rabidly titratable control of anesthesia, Annovation says.

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