Supplier News Breaks Archives
Pfizer inks deal to buy Excaliard
November 22nd, 2011
NEW YORK and SAN DIEGO – Pfizer Inc. has agreed to acquire Excaliard Pharmaceuticals Inc., a privately owned biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel drugs for the treatment of skin fibrosis, or skin scarring.
The acquisition, terms of which weren't disclosed, is expected to close before the end of the year, the companies said Tuesday.
Excaliard's lead product, EXC 001, an antisense oligonucleotide in Phase 2 development, is designed to interrupt the process of fibrosis by inhibiting expression of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF). CTGF is a growth factor that can be overexpressed in damaged skin or tissue after surgery or traumatic injury and lead to disfiguring skin scarring. The Phase 2 program for EXC 001 has so far produced positive clinical results in reducing scar severity.
Afther the acquisition is finalized, Pfizer plans to continue development of EXC 001 to address unmet medical needs in patient groups who suffer from excessive skin scarring. Currently, there are no Food and Drug Administration-approved products to reduce scar severity, according to the companies.
"The acquisition of Excaliard is part of our corporate research and development strategy to actively complement our robust internal project pipeline with innovative and differentiated drugs from biotech partners," stated Mikael Dolsten, president of worldwide research and development at Pfizer.
Added Jose-Carlos Gutierrez-Ramos, senior vice president of biotherapeutics for worldwide R&D at Pfizer, "The science behind Excaliard's lead compound aligns well with our R&D focus on new treatments for fibrosis and tissue remodeling. We view EXC 001 as being well positioned to potentially become a novel, transformative therapy in a space with limited available treatment options."
In the United States, there are more than 35 million surgical procedures annually, and many result in undesirable skin scarring, Pfizer and Excaliard reported. In addition to fine-line scarring, scars can be raised (hypertrophic) or grow beyond the original site of injury (keloids). The prevalence of hypertrophic scarring has been reported to be as high as 70% in certain populations.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports that over 5 million reconstructive procedures were performed in the United States in 2009 and well over 1.5 million cosmetic surgical procedures. Opportunities also exist in other noncosmetic surgical scars such as Caesarian sections (1.3 million per year in the United States), as well as trauma and burn patients, the companies said.
"We are all excited about Pfizer becoming the company to move our drug forward," commented Gordon Foulkes, Excaliard chief executive officer. "We began Excaliard just four years ago with closing the Series A financing. Since that time, using a virtual organization and maximum outsourcing, we were able to move from lead generation to the completion of three Phase 2 trials. The whole team has just done a fantastic job."
Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. is an equity owner of Excaliard and has granted Excaliard an exclusive worldwide license agreement for the development and commercialization of certain antisense drugs, including EXC 001. Isis will receive a portion of the upfront and milestone payments paid by Pfizer to Excaliard, the companies said.