Pacira BioSciences Nears $630 Million Deal for Flexion
(Bloomberg) -- Pacira BioSciences Inc. said it agreed to acquire Flexion Therapeutics Inc. in a $630 million deal that boosts the specialty biopharmaceutical company’s portfolio of non-opioid pain-relief therapies.
Pacira will pay $8.50 a share in cash for Burlington, Massachusetts-based Flexion, according to a statement. That values Flexion’s equity at $450 million, for a deal value of roughly $630 million including debt -- a 47% premium over Flexion’s closing price Friday. The transaction also includes a contingent value right, or CVR, that will pay out as much as $8 per Flexion share if certain sales and regulatory milestones are met.
The deal is expected to close by the end of the year, according to the statement, which confirmed an earlier report by Bloomberg. Flexion shares rose as much as 75% to $10.11 in trading before U.S. markets opened.
Founded in 2007, Tampa, Florida-based Pacira aims to provide pain-relief treatments to the millions of Americans who don’t want to use opioids, including for surgical procedures. Opioids were behind about three-fourths of the 90,722 overdose deaths in the U.S. for the year through November, federal data released in June shows, and the related epidemic cost the U.S. more than $2.5 trillion from 2015 to 2018, according to the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Some research suggests prescription opioids are a gateway drug for addiction to other substances.
Pacira’s portfolio includes Exparel, an anesthetic administered during surgery that temporarily turns off the body’s pain signals, which can eliminate the need to take opioids after procedures.
Acquiring Flexion will add Zilretta, a long-acting FDA-approved steroid that turns off pain signals for people with osteoarthritis of the knee, a condition common in the elderly. One injection typically lasts for about three months, helping to lengthen the amount of time before someone needs surgery to deal with pain.
Flexion’s pipeline also includes an anti-inflammatory gene therapy, as well as a regional anesthesia that can block the feeling of pain longer than current local anesthesia.
Pacira is run by Dave Stack, a pharmaceutical executive who’s held roles at MPM Capital -- a biotech investment firm that was one of Pacira’s early backers -- The Medicines Company and Roche Laboratories, among others.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. was financial advisor to Pacira. Lazard Ltd. was lead financial advisor to Flexion, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. also advising.
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