Mallinckrodt plc (NYSE: MNK), a leading global specialty pharmaceutical company, and Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCMP), a global biopharmaceutical company, today announced that they have entered into an agreement under which Mallinckrodt will acquire Sucampo, including its commercial and development assets. The transaction was approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies.
"Mallinckrodt's acquisition of Sucampo is the latest milestone towards our vision of becoming an innovation-driven specialty pharmaceutical growth company focused on improving outcomes for patients with severe and critical conditions," said Mark Trudeau, Chief Executive Officer and President of Mallinckrodt. "The acquisition brings near-term net sales and earnings accretion through AMITIZA and bolsters our pipeline in rare diseases with VTS-270 and CPP-1X/sulindac. We look forward to adding the Sucampo portfolio and welcoming members of its team to Mallinckrodt."
"This transaction is a testament to the hard work and dedication of Sucampo's employees. Together we have made extraordinary progress in our mission to provide options for patients affected by diseases with few or no current treatment options, and to their caregivers and physicians. We believe that this transaction with Mallinckrodt represents significant value for shareholders," said Peter Greenleaf, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sucampo. "With the addition of its significant resources and expertise, we believe Mallinckrodt is a natural partner to accelerate the development of our rare disease assets in NPC and FAP, and to continue to provide AMITIZA for patients suffering from constipation-related disorders."
Sucampo's Commercial Assets
AMITIZA® (lubiprostone), a leading global product in the branded constipation market, is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC) in adults, irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) in women 18 years of age and older, and opioid-induced constipation (OIC) in adult patients with chronic, non-cancer pain, including patients with chronic pain related to prior cancer or its treatment who do not require frequent opioid dosage escalation. AMITIZA is a chloride channel activator which increases fluid secretion and motility of the intestine, facilitating passage of stool. The FDA is currently reviewing a supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for AMITIZA in children 6 to 17 years of age with pediatric functional constipation (PFC). The sNDA received a Priority Review designation and has a user fee1 goal date of January 28, 2018.
Roughly 40 million patients in the U.S. suffer from some form of chronic constipation. While the most common treatments include over-the-counter laxatives, branded prescription drugs hold about 10% of the total chronic constipation market, resulting in approximately 4.2 million prescriptions and annual growth of 10% to 15% 2. In 2016, net sales of branded products for treatment of CIC, OIC and IBS-C were $1.6 billion3, with AMITIZA holding approximately 30% of those net sales. Of the branded products currently marketed, only AMITIZA is approved for three constipation indications in the U.S. The drug is promoted through commercial agreements in the U.S., the United Kingdom and Switzerland (all through Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd.), and in Japan (Mylan N.V.). An Investigational New Drug Application for the product has been accepted in China (Harbin Gloria Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd.). Reported 2016 global net sales of AMITIZA equaled $456 million. If approved for PFC in the first quarter of 2018, AMITIZA would be the first and only approved prescription therapy available to treat children with PFC, a condition which affects approximately 18%4of the pediatric population.
RESCULA® (unoprostone isopropyl ophthalmic solution) 0.15%, is indicated for ocular hypertension and open-angle glaucoma, and marketed in Japan. Mallinckrodt will acquire global rights to the product, with annual net sales of approximately $9 million.
Sucampo's Development Assets
VTS-270 is in Phase 3 development for Niemann-Pick Type C (NPC). NPC is a rare, neurodegenerative, and ultimately fatal disease that can present at any age. NPC is caused by mutations in either the NPC1 or NPC2 genes, resulting in the disruption of the trafficking of intracellular cholesterol, leading to intracellular lipid accumulation in various tissues, including the brain, liver, and spleen 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12. NPC presents with neurologic and visceral features that overlap with other diseases often leading to a missed or delayed diagnosis. Neurodegenerative presentation in NPC is a major driver of morbidity and mortality13,14,15,16,17. On average, patients die 12.6 years from the onset of neurological symptoms18. There are four main types of the disease – types A, B, C1 and C2; NPC encompasses types C1 and C2, which represents 95% of cases19 and causes accumulation of cholesterol and other lipids in cells, resulting in severe neurological, systemic or psychiatric disorders. Manifestations of the genetic disorder typically occur in childhood5,6, with occasional late onset, and average diagnosis at ten years of age20. NPC is usually fatal, and the majority of cases lead to death before age 205,6. Diagnosis is challenging due to the variability of symptoms6, which could improve with awareness created by a new treatment option. Worldwide estimated prevalence for the rare disease is approximately 2,000 to 3,000 patients, with about 500 cases in the U.S. alone21,22,23.
The FDA granted VTS-270 its Orphan Drug Designation, and the resulting seven years' exclusivity would be applied upon approval of the drug. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) also granted VTS-270 Orphan Drug status. In addition, the FDA granted the compound its Breakthrough Designation24, indicating the drug is (1) intended to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition alone or combined with one or more other drugs, and (2) preliminary clinical evidence indicates it may demonstrate substantial improvement over existing therapies on one or more clinically significant endpoints. The Breakthrough Designation status results in expedited review by the agency.
Additionally, since VTS-270 has been designated as a rare pediatric disease treatment, it is expected – upon successful completion of the VTS-270 Phase 3 trial and submission of the regulatory filing and subsequent approval of the New Drug Application (NDA) by the FDA – that the company would receive a Priority Review Voucher, awarded by the agency to those sponsors that meet certain criteria25. Once received, the voucher could be redeemed by Mallinckrodt to receive priority review of a subsequent separate product's marketing application, or the company could choose to monetize the voucher. If the company receives the voucher and chooses to monetize it, a part of the proceeds would be shared with VTS-270's former owner's (Vtesse Inc.) shareholders.
Results of the VTS-270 Phase 1/2a data showed the potential for a disease modifying effect based on slowing of progression on neurological, disease-specific outcomes measures and promising clinical improvements in patients with NPC. Current therapeutic approaches are palliative and show limited evidence of efficacy in delaying disease progression 26 ,27. If approved, VTS-270 will provide patients with a directly targeted disease-modifying therapy. The Phase 3 trial is ongoing, with the NDA filing currently expected in 2018, and approval anticipated in 2019. Mallinckrodt will acquire global rights to the therapy. Peak net sales for the product, if approved, are estimated at greater than $150 million.
CPP-1X/sulindac is in Phase 3 development for Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP) under a collaborative agreement between Cancer Prevention Pharmaceuticals (CPP) and Sucampo. FAP results from a genetic mutation leading to uncontrolled growth of hundreds to thousands of polyps in the lower digestive tract 28. Left untreated, there is almost a 100% lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer 29. The disease typically progresses without clear warning signs until reaching advanced stages. It can also lead to abnormal manifestations in other organs including bone, skin, retina, teeth and other malignant lesions. FAP is a rare disease that affects 1 in 10,000 people with approximately 30,000 cases estimated in the U.S.30 Of those diagnosed with FAP, approximately 70% are diagnosed with inherited disease31, with the remaining 30% diagnosed separately and likely at a later stage.
The FDA granted CPP-1X/sulindac its Orphan Drug Designation, as well as its Fast Track designation, a process designed to facilitate development and expedite the review of drugs to treat serious conditions and fill an unmet medical need32. Orphan Drug status was also granted to the therapy by the EMA.
A Phase 2 Proof of Concept trial in FAP and a Phase 2/3 trial in high-risk polyp formers demonstrated the potential for CPP-1X/sulindac in patients with FAP33. Current therapeutic interventions are limited to endoscopies and surgeries, which only decrease polyp burden in the gastrointestinal tract and do not address other disease manifestations. CPP-1X/sulindac, if approved, will target the underlying disease mechanism, preventing polyp growth and delaying disease progression.
Completion of the Phase 3 trial is currently expected at the end of 2018. Assuming positive Phase 3 data, Mallinckrodt would acquire the exclusive option to obtain North American commercial rights for a nominal fee, with CPP retaining rights to the rest of the world. The NDA filing is currently expected in early 2019, with approval also anticipated in 2019. Peak U.S. potential net sales for the product are estimated at greater than $300 million. A part of the profits from commercialization of CPP-1X/sulindac would be shared with CPP.
"Both NPC and FAP are devastating conditions associated with substantial morbidity and mortality, and effective therapies are needed," said Steven Romano, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President of Mallinckrodt. "In addition to the current patient benefits provided by AMITIZA, we look forward to bringing VTS-270 and CPP-1X/sulindac to patients with critical unmet medical needs."
If approved, Mallinckrodt expects to build on the limited commercial infrastructure Sucampo has built for both VTS-270 and CPP-1X/sulindac with its sales organizations currently focused on rare diseases. At launch, patient access to these unique treatment options would also be supported and enhanced by Mallinckrodt's strong relationships with insurance companies and group purchasing organizations. Mallinckrodt's existing infrastructure of clinical and medical affairs experts will also support approval and launch of both products.
Financial Considerations and Closing
Sun Acquisition Co., a subsidiary of Mallinckrodt, will commence a cash tender offer to purchase all of the outstanding shares of Sucampo Pharmaceuticals' common stock for $18.00 per share. The total transaction value (including anticipated payments in respect of Sucampo's debt) is approximately $1.2 billion. The acquisition is expected to be funded through borrowings under Mallinckrodt's existing revolving credit facility, a new secured term loan facility and/or cash on hand. Following the transaction, Mallinckrodt intends to utilize its significant cash generation to focus on reducing outstanding debt over time.
Sucampo stockholders holding approximately 32% of the outstanding Sucampo shares have entered into a tender and support agreement for this transaction.
Mallinckrodt expects accretion from the acquisition to adjusted diluted earnings per share of at least $0.30 in 2018 and at least double that amount in 2019, assuming a first quarter 2018 close.
Guidance on the impact of the acquisition to the company's GAAP35 diluted earnings per share has not been provided due to the inherent difficulty of forecasting the timing or amount of items that would be included in calculating such impact.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including expiration of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, and the tender of a majority of the outstanding Sucampo shares.
Deutsche Bank served as Mallinckrodt's exclusive financial advisor; Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz served as its exclusive legal advisor. Jefferies LLC served as Sucampo's exclusive financial advisor; Cooley LLP served as its exclusive legal advisor.
Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of highly specialized medicines. Sucampo has a late-stage pipeline of product candidates in clinical development for orphan disease areas, including VTS-270, a mixture of 2-hydroxypropyl-B-cyclodextrins with a specific compositional fingerprint that has been granted orphan designation in the U.S. and Europe and is in a pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial for the treatment of Niemann-Pick Disease Type C, a rare progressive genetic disorder. VTS-270 has also been granted breakthrough therapy designation in the U.S. Sucampo has an exclusive option for the North American rights to CPP-1X/sulindac, which is in Phase 3 development for the treatment of familial adenomatous polyposis and has been granted orphan drug designation in the U.S. The company has two marketed products – AMITIZA and RESCULA. For more information, please visit www.sucampo.com.
Mallinckrodt is a global business that develops, manufactures, markets and distributes specialty pharmaceutical products and therapies. Areas of focus include autoimmune and rare diseases in specialty areas like neurology, rheumatology, nephrology, pulmonology and ophthalmology; immunotherapy and neonatal respiratory critical care therapies; and analgesics and hemostasis products. The company's core strengths include the acquisition and management of highly regulated raw materials and specialized chemistry, formulation and manufacturing capabilities. The company's Specialty Brands segment includes branded medicines and its Specialty Generics segment includes specialty generic drugs, active pharmaceutical ingredients and external manufacturing. To learn more about Mallinckrodt, visit www.mallinckrodt.com.