Teva grabs MicroDose respiratory biz with inhaled delivery platform

Teva Pharmaceuticals ($TEVA) bought drug delivery company MicroDose Therapeutx this week, taking hold of its inhalation platforms for lung diseases.

The Israeli pharma giant will pay $40 million up front with up to $125 million more in milestone payments to bolster its respiratory pipeline with MicroDose's inhalation delivery technologies, including the anchor product MDT-637 for respiratory syncytial virus, according to a release. MicroDose has completed Phase I trials for MDT-637 and intends to begin Phase II later this year, a Teva representative told FierceDrugDelivery in an email.

MDT-637 is a small molecule anti-viral fusion inhibitor MicroDose acquired from ViroPharma ($VPHM) in 2009, delivered directly into the lungs using MicroDose's dry powder technology. In Phase I, it showed the ability "to both prevent and treat RSV infection in humans, thereby increasing the market potential," according to the company's website.

MicroDose has several other inhaled products in its pipeline that Teva will bring into its own, including a treatment in early stages for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

"The MicroDose platform is both simple and attractive, and their addition will help us to address the unmet needs of the youngest and oldest patients, who have a requirement for a better way of taking the medicines they rely upon," said Michael Hayden, Teva's president of global R&D and chief scientific officer, in a statement.

"We believe this agreement provides a unique opportunity to advance MicroDose's platform technology and development programs for the greatest benefit of patients," said Anand V. Gumaste, CEO of MicroDose, in a statement. "Teva has a strong and growing franchise in respiratory diseases, with extensive experience in both delivery mechanisms and novel therapeutic modalities."

FierceBiotech reports that the acquisition is the first for Teva in 2013 after new CEO Jeremy Levin chose to shift the company's strategy to focus on generics and branded drugs on the market and in development, slowing the once-quick buyout pace.

- here's the release
- and here's FierceBiotech's take