BioMarin acquires LEAD Therapeutics

NOVATO -- BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (Nasdaq: BMRN) said it plans to acquire LEAD Therapeutics Inc. of San Bruno in a stock deal worth $18 million up front and up to $97 million as the drug is submitted for government review and later released.

If the deal closes in the middle of this month as expected, it would pay LEAD shareholders $11 million upon filing for regulatory approval of LT-673, an oral treatment for rare, genetically defined cancers. That filing is expected by the end of this year.

LEAD shareholders would get up to $68 million additionally as the product is developed and reaches the market.

BioMarin (link) expects the deal to report $11 million to $13 million in operating expenses and acquisition charges this fiscal year.

At the same time as the acquisition, the company released financial guidance for fiscal 2010. Revenue is expected to be $374 million to $405 million, compared to the most recent estimate for 2009 revenue of $313 million to $327 million. Standard net income is expected to be $2 million to $12 million this fiscal year.

LEAD Therapeutics (link) was started in April 2007 and has offices in San Bruno and Shanghai, China, and is backed by Pappas Ventures, ProQuest Investments and Mustang Ventures. Its two main products in preclinical-trial development are LT-673 and LT-29, an antibiotic for pathogens such as Staph and Strep.

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