Premium content from The Business Journal – by Matt Evans, Staff writer
Date: Friday, November 26, 2010, 6:00am EST
Piedmont Pharmaceuticals has sold a technology it developed that will help dogs and cats take chewable medications to the German veterinary health care giant Bayer, according to company officials.
The deal includes two additional products that are in late-stage development, but no further details about the terms of the deal or the products involved could be released, said Michael Kelly, Piedmont Pharma’s chief financial officer.
“But this is a very sizeable deal for us ultimately,” Kelly said. The revenue generated “allows us to continue to develop the strong portfolio of products we have.”
In a statement, Jean-Luc Lowniski, the head of Bayer Animal Health, said the three products his company acquired from Piedmont Pharma will enable a new range of products for companion animal health.
“With this platform technology and access to two products already in advanced development, we will complement our internal R&D efforts and expand our portfolio of offering to veterinarians and our customers,” Lowinski said.
The primary technology involved in the deal is for a chewable medicine application for dogs and cats, which has proven challenging for veterinary drug developers, Kelly said. Heartgard, a heartworm prevention medicine developed by Merial, is an example of a chewable medicine for dogs, but most medications need to be hidden in other foods or forced on the animal.
Kelly said the technology Piedmont Pharma sold to Bayer had tested to be highly palatable to both dogs and cats, and it can be used to administer a number of different kinds of medications.
“It’s a very versatile formulation,” he said.
Bayer bought the technology outright from Piedmont Pharma rather than licensing it, Kelly said, so that company now owns the intellectual property behind the chewable formulation. But Piedmont Pharma will remain involved, helping Bayer to commercialize products and continuing development of the two other technologies.
Piedmont Pharmaceuticals has hired two new employees to help manage the product development process with Bayer. The company now has 11 full-time employees.
Kelly said Piedmont Pharma will continue to develop human health-related products, including its pesticide-free head lice treatment that has helped the company land several million dollars in equity investments in recent years.
But Kelly said the market for sales of animal health products to veterinarians and for parasite-fighting medications tops $3 billion a year in the U.S., and could be where Piedmont Pharma sees most of its future growth.
“Animal health will dominate for us in the future,” he said.
Reach Matt Evans at (336) 370-2916 or firstname.lastname@example.org.