SurModics selling drug delivery unit to Evonik for $30M

Wounded from the loss of stent-coating business from Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ), SurModics ($SRDX) has decided to sell off its drug delivery unit. German chemical giant Evonik has agreed to gobble up SurModics Pharmaceuticals for $30 million in cash, according to the Eden Prairie, MN-based seller's release.

SurModics Pharmaceuticals, SurModics' drug delivery unit based in Birmingham, AL, includes a development facility and plant in Birmingham. Evonik also gets the group's other assets such as microparticle tech for long-acting parenterals and a line of biodegradable polymers. The drug-delivery unit makes these produces for the pharma, biotech and medical devices industries, according to SurModics, which plans to close the sale of the unit by the end of this month. SurModics aims to use the cash from the deal to improve its financial footing and to focus on its medical devices and in vitro diagnostics businesses.

The deal follows SurModics announcement in August that it would lay off 9% of its work force. The company has reportedly been hurt by loss of revenue from royalties on its polymers used for J&J's drug-coated heart stents, which the healthcare giant has stopped making.

Jean-Luc Herbeaux, head of Evonik's healthcare business, said in a statement that the buyout "demonstrates our view of the pharmaceuticals market as a strategic core business in which we intend to continue to invest and grow ... Together, we will operate as one stronger entity with the aligned strategy of becoming the leading global supplier of solutions for the parenteral and implant-based pharmaceutical forms."

- here's the release
- read the news in the Minneapolis/ St. Paul Business Journal