Cubist/Calixa Deal the Latest in a String of Biotech Buyouts

antibioticsCubist Pharmaceuticals has announced plans to acquire tiny San Diego biotech Calixa Therapeutics for up to $402.5 million. The deal gives Cubist possession of an antibiotic that Calixa has been developing for complicated urinary tract and intra-abdominal infections.

Cubist, based in Lexington, Mass., has agreed to pay Calixa $92.5 million up front in cash, and up to $310 million in future milestone payments. Calixa is developing CXA-201 as a first-line intravenous therapy against drug-resistant, hospital acquired bacterial infections. The company, which employs only seven people, purchased CXA-201 from Astellas Pharma last year. CXA-201 is currently in Phase II clinical trials.

Cubist plans to take over Calixa’s clinical studies and file a new drug application for CXA-201 with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2013. The new acquisition is right in line with Cubist’s pipeline:  Cubist already markets an antibiotic to treat infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria.

The Cubist/Calixa deal is the latest in a long string of buyouts involving U.S. biotechs. Reuters reports that there have been over 90 mergers and acquisitions this year. Recent deals include Celgene”s buyout of Gloucester Pharmaceuticals, Merrimack’s purchase of Hermes Biosciences, and YM Biosciences’ acquisition of Cytopia.

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