EKR to buy three PDL BioPharma cardiovascular drugs for $170M

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EKR Therapeutics and PDL BioPharma have entered into an agreement under which EKR would acquire the rights to PDL's cardiovascular products, consisting of Cardene I.V. (nicardipine hydrochloride), Cardene SR and new formulations of Cardene in development, as well as Retavase (reteplase) and the development product ularitide.

Under the terms of the agreement, the companies said PDL would receive cash payments of $85 million at closing, and up to an additional $85 million in development and sales milestones for the new Cardene formulations. PDL will also receive royalties on sales of the new Cardene formulations and ularitide, according to the Redwood City, Calif.-based PDL and the Cedar Knolls, N.J.-based EKR.

The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is expected to close during the first quarter of 2008, subject to antitrust clearance and satisfaction of financing-related and other customary conditions, EKR and PDL said.

The FDA approved Cardene I.V. in January 1992 for the short-term treatment of hypertension. Retavase gained FDA approval as a fibrinolytic agent in October 1996 for the management of acute MI or heart attack in adults. Ularitide, currently in Phase 2 development, is a synthetic form of urodilatin, a naturally occurring human natriuretic peptide that is involved in regulating blood pressure and the excretion of water and sodium from the kidneys.