Sucampo Pharmaceuticals acquires rare disease company Vtesse for $200m


Global biopharmaceutical company Sucampo Pharmaceuticals has acquired US-based rare disease company Vtesse in a deal valued at $200m. 

The acquisition will provide Sucampo with VTS-270, which is currently in a pivotal study to treat Niemann-Pick Disease Type C1 (NPC-1).

The rare genetic disorder NPC-1 begins impacting the lives of those affected from birth to early adulthood and its incidence is estimated between 1:100,000 to 1:150,000 live births.

Furthermore, the acquisition will build on the company’s capabilities, global development platform and would also focus on specialised areas of high, unmet medical need.

Following the acquisition, Vtesse team will continue to support the advancement of VTS-270.

Vtesse president, founder and CEO Ben Machielse said: “We recognise that Sucampo shares our commitment to the patients and caregivers of NPC and provides us with the best opportunity to bring this important treatment to NPC-1 patients in the US and around the globe. 

“Together, we will accelerate the global development and commercialisation of VTS-270, relying on the complementary capabilities at Sucampo.”

Sucampo has agreed to pay contingent consideration to Vtesse shareholders based on royalties on global net sales of the product based on increasing net sales levels, as well as a share of net proceeds that may be generated from the monetisation of the paediatric review voucher.  

"Together, we will accelerate the global development and commercialisation of VTS-270, relying on the complementary capabilities at Sucampo."

Vtesse and Sucampo also propose to establish a foundation to support research related to NPC disease, after closing of the acquisition. 

VTS-270 is a mixture of 2-hydroxypropyl-ß-cyclodextrins (HPßCD) with a specific compositional fingerprint, which is administered by an intrathecal infusion to directly address the diease's neurological manifestations. 

At present, it is in a pivotal Phase IIb/III trial and has secured breakthrough therapy designation in the US and orphan designation in both the US and EU. 

Results from the pivotal trial are expected by the middle of next year.


Image: The acquisition will build on Sucampo’s global development platform and also focus on specialised areas of high, unmet medical need. Photo: courtesy of Pawel Kryj via Freeimages.com.