Collegium Pharmaceutical has signed a definitive merger agreement for the acquisition of all outstanding shares of BioDelivery Sciences International (BDSI) in an all-cash deal for $5.60 each share or a total equity value of nearly $604m.

According to the agreement, Collegium will start a tender offer for the takeover of the outstanding shares of BDSI.

Collegium intends to fund the merger through a combination of cash on hand and a $650m financing obtained from Pharmakon Advisors-managed funds.

A speciality pharmaceutical company, BDSI’s portfolio of pain and neurology products is intended for serious and debilitating ailments.

Its meaningfully differentiated schedule III opioid product, BELBUCA, complements the pain product portfolio of Collegium.

Other products in the portfolio of BDSI comprise Symproic, a contributor and a neurology product, ELYXYB, currently in the initial launch stage.

Collegium noted that the merger will expand and boost its revenues with the addition of BELBUCA.

In addition, ELYXYB will facilitate the entry of Collegium into the neurology market.

The board of directors of BDSI and Collegium unanimously granted approval to the business combination.

The merger is anticipated to conclude in the first quarter of this year.

For the deal, Moelis & Company and Goodwin Procter are serving as exclusive financial advisor and legal counsel, respectively, to BDSI.

Jefferies is the exclusive financial advisor and Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders is serving as legal counsel for Collegium.

BDSI CEO Jeff Bailey said: “We are pleased to announce the transaction with Collegium, which we view as a testament to the attractiveness of our portfolio and long-term value of our brands.

“Our team has worked diligently to grow our differentiated products. We believe that this transaction will deliver benefits to patients and prescribers and create significant value for our shareholders.”