Hikma picks up Insys naloxone spray, equipment in $12M bankruptcy buy

Insys Therapeutics Subsys
Insys Therapeutics has sold two nasal spay pipeline products and manufacturing equipment to Hikma as part of its bankrupty fire sale. (Insys)

The carcass of pain drug wheeler-dealer Insys Therapeutics is being pieced off in bankruptcy court, and Hikma Pharmaceuticals says it has picked up some of those pieces. The drugmaker has laid out $12.2 million for a couple nasal spray drugs and the equipment and know-how to manufacture them. 

According to Hikma, it grabbed unit-dose nasal and sublingual spray manufacturing equipment as well as pipeline products of epinephrine and naloxone nasal sprays. Naloxone is used to counter opioid overdoses. Hikma said the products were just what the doctor ordered.

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“Hikma is the largest supplier of generic nasal sprays in the U.S. and we have been looking for ways to build upon our strong manufacturing platform and expand our product portfolio,” Brian Hoffmann, Hikma's president of generics, said in a statement. “This acquisition adds unit-dose nasal spray manufacturing equipment, as well as two complex products to our pipeline. This new technology expands our existing nasal spray capabilities, creating a comprehensive platform, which we can leverage for both internal and partnership programs.”

According to bankruptcy records, Hikma made a $1 million down payment and agreed to pay the remaining $11.2 million on closing. The London-based company, which does some contract work, did not say where it intends to develop and produce the new assets, but an earlier deal gave an indication of one place they may land. 

When it bought Boehringer Ingelheim’s Roxane drugs in 2015, Hikma picked up an 875,000-square-foot manufacturing site in Columbus, Ohio, which produces liquid, dry powder inhaler and nasal spray dosage forms as well as solid dose drugs. Hikma said several years ago it might use the plant to expand its contract work. 

RELATED: Insys files for bankruptcy on the heels of $225M kickback settlement with the feds

As for Insys, it filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in June after agreeing to pay the feds $225 million to settle charges that it paid doctors to boost scripts of Subsys, a sprayed form of the highly addictive fentanyl. The marketing scandal also took down Insys founder and former CEO John Kapoor, who was convicted of federal racketeering charges in May.

When Insys turned to the bankruptcy court to hold off creditors, the Arizona-based drugmaker said it intended to unload most of its assets within 90 days without interrupting payments to vendors and suppliers or normal operations. How much any of its vendors will actually see is a question, given that the Department of Justice is now its largest creditor and so stands first in line for payments.