Collegium diversifies with $604M BDSI buyout, adding pain & migraine meds

Collegium Pharmaceutical’s acquisition of BioDelivery Sciences International brings a pain drug that’s administered in a different way than its current lineup of medicines. The deal also gives Collegium a way to break into the neurology market.


Pain drug company Collegium Pharmaceutical is broadening its scope with the acquisition of BioDelivery Sciences International, a specialty pharmaceutical company built around a technology platform that enables pain drugs to be dosed via a thin, dissolvable film placed on the inside of the cheek.

According to financial terms announced Monday, Stoughton, Massachusetts-based Collegium will pay $5.60 for each share of BDSI, a 54% premium to the company’s closing stock price last Friday. The all-cash transaction values BDSI, based in Raleigh, North Carolina, at about $604 million.

Collegium’s portfolio has two commercialized pain products, both of them oral opioids indicated for around-the-clock pain management. Xtampza ER, which contains oxycodone, is a capsule given every 12 hours, while the Nucynta franchise is comprised of three different strengths of tapentadol in tablets that patients take every four to six hours. The two drugs generated $310 million in revenue in 2020, according to Collegium’s financial statements. Meanwhile, BDSI’s top-selling product, Belbuca, administers the opioid buprenorphine using the company’s dissolvable film technology. That drug accounted for $136.1 million in product sales in 2020.

Speaking on a conference call Monday, Collegium CEO Joe Ciaffoni said that portfolio diversification is among his company’s top goals, and BDSI was the “highest priority target.” Ciaffoni added that Belbuca complements rather than competes with Collegium’s current drug lineup.

“We do view the acquisition as complementary, and these products as distinctly positioned in different portions of the pain market,” he said.

The acquisition will also bring Collegium another BDSI product. Elyxyb is an oral solution approved by the FDA for treating acute migraine pain in adults. Last September, BDSI acquired U.S. and Canadian rights to the drug from Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, and it planned to launch the new asset in the first quarter of 2022. Ciaffoni declined to comment on commercialization plans for the migraine drug, other than to say that the drug gives Collegium a strategic foothold in neurology, a priority area for the company.

Collegium is coming off of a corporate restructuring announced last November that slashed headcount by 20%. The BDSI acquisition has already been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, and the deal is expected to close late in the first quarter of this year. When it does, Collegium is projecting synergies of at least $75 million annually, based on BDSI’s estimated 2021 operating expenses. It’s the second major acquisition for Collegium in as many years. The Nucynta products joined the company’s portfolio via a 2020 deal that paid Assertio Therapeutics $375 million for U.S. rights to the drugs.

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