Savient attracts a buyer willing to get it out of bankruptcy court

It seems the near-bankrupt Savient ($SVNT) has found a savior in Crealta Pharmaceuticals. The biotech has agreed to sell itself and its assets, including leading product Krystexxa, to Crealta for $120.4 million. 

As it stands, the $120.4 million from Crealta is more than twice the $55 million "stalking horse" bid that US WorldMeds subsidiary Sloan Holdings put down for the company a couple of months ago after the Bridgewater Township, NJ-based biotech filed for bankruptcy protection. Crealta was forged this year from a partnership between a private equity firm and current Chairman and CEO Ed Fiorentino. Crealta and Savient will seek court approval for the sale later this week.

Savient sought Chapter 11 reorganization back in October, when times were at their bleakest. As of June 30, the company had listed total assets of just $74 million compared with liabilities of $260 million. So it went on the block, looking to grab the most it could for Krystexxa, a gout drug once granted the FDA's orphan drug designation.

And while Crealta's bid is an improvement on Sloan Holdings', $120.4 million barely tops the $114.7 million Savient blew through in just over a year's time, when lacking major launch funding and a Big Pharma buyer, it decided to roll out Krystexxa solo. 

Dismal sales followed a highly anticipated 2010 approval, bringing Savient to its present position. Krystexxa generated just $1.4 million in first-half 2011 sales, and by the end of that year, the company was saddled with $102 million in losses on just $3.1 million in revenue. By May 2012, a shareholder was urging a court to declare the company insolvent. 

Nevertheless, Crealta is excited about the future of Krystexxa, the pickup of which will strengthen its foothold in the increasingly popular world of specialty pharma. "Krystexxa represents the type of product that Crealta strives to deliver to patients, namely specialty products addressing significant health care conditions," Fiorentino said in a statement. "We believe this is a meaningful step in Crealta's journey to becoming a leading specialty pharmaceutical company."

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