Neptune creates spin-off, gives $9M to develop cardiovascular pharma pipeline

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Neptune Technologies & Bioressources has formed Acasti Pharma, an operating pharmaceutical subsidiary to carry out the research, development and commercialization of active pharmaceutical ingredients for chronic cardiovascular disease.

The Laval, Quebec-based Neptune said Acasti will pursue negotiations with the objective to enter strategic pharmaceutical alliances. To advance its cardiovascular pharmaceutical program, Neptune has granted to Acasti a license to rights of its intellectual property portfolio related to cardiovascular applications.

The transfer of the license allows Acasti to exploit intellectual property rights to develop novel active pharmaceutical ingredients into commercial products for three pharmaceutical markets, namely the over-the-counter, medical food and prescription drug markets, according to Neptune.

The license was transferred to the pharmaceutical subsidiary in the exchange of 25 million category C shares, five million multi-voting category B shares and eight million warrants expiring on July 31, 2010 for an aggregate value of $9 million, the company said.