Durham’s Bioventus acquires portfolio of therapies from Pfizer

dranii@newsobserver.comJuly 2, 2013 

Durham-based Bioventus has acquired exclusive worldwide rights to develop a new generation of therapies from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

The deal, announced this week, was the first acquisition by Bioventus since it was spun out of medical technology giant Smith & Nephew last year.

More deals are a distinct possibility.

“We are seeking things that fit well with our portfolio,” company spokesman Mike Truell said. Bioventus has about 640 employees, including about 75 workers at its Durham headquarters.

The deal with Pfizer gives Bioventus the right to Pfizer’s portfolio of bone morphogenetic protein, or BMP, development programs, including a “next-generation BMP.” BMPs are growth factors used for bone and cartilage formation, among other uses.

The portfolio of therapies is in various stages of development.

“At this stage, we are looking at various uses for BMP,” Truell said. “We feel it is a good addition to our product mix and our development efforts.”

Financial details weren’t specified, but Pfizer will receive an undisclosed upfront payment and is entitled to milestone payments and royalties tied to any sales that result.

Bioventus also has opened a research laboratory in Boston to focus on the development of the BMP portfolio. Two scientists who have made a name for themselves in the BMP arena, John Wozney and Howard Seeherman, have been hired to lead the development efforts.

Bioventus’ top seller is Exogen, an ultrasound system that accelerates the healing of fractured bones. The company hasn’t disclosed its 2012 revenue numbers, but at the time of the spin-off it reported its 2011 sales were about $240 million.

About 550 positions ultimately migrated Bioventus from Smith & Nephew as a result of the spin-off that transpired in May 2012. Since then Bioventus has added about 90 new positions, mostly for back-office functions and customer support, and is continuing to hire for its research-and-development team, Truell said.

Ranii: 919-829-4877

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