In an effort to gain cash and save it self from bankruptcy, Epix Pharmaceuticals is selling the U.S., Canadian, and Australian rights to MS-325, a magnetic resonance angiography agent, to Lantheus Medical Imaging for $28 million in cash. Epix will also initiate an exchange offer for $100 million for 3% convertible notes due June 2024.
Noteholders would receive $18 million and 33.9 million shares of common stock, or 44.7% of total outstanding shares of Epix. The firm notes reports that if the offer does not satisfy outstanding obligations, it may be forced to seek bankruptcy protection.
From the deal with Lantheus, Epix will have to pay Bayer Schering Pharma $10.5 million of the $28 million received as a result of a previous development agreement for MS-325, which expired February 28. Epix will retain European and other ex-U.S. rights excluding Canada to the technology.
Lantheus is expected to rename the product, formerly marketed as Vasovist, which is reportedly the only approved member of its class. Epix received FDA approval for MS-325 in December for evaluation of aortoiliac occlusive disease in adults with known or suspected peripheral vascular disease.
"The acquisition of MS-325 reinforces our growth strategy to continue to bring to market breakthrough new imaging tools." says Don Kiepert, president and CEO of Lantheus Medical Imaging. "MS-325 fits well within our current product portfolio of leading contrast imaging agents. As a first-in-class contrast agent, MS-325 provides a true advance in vascular imaging and may make it possible for physicians to detect peripheral vascular disease differently than X-ray angiography, which is invasive."