News Article

Momenta acquires Virdante assets
Date: Dec 06, 2011
Author: Michelle Lang
Source: bizjournals ( click here to go to the source)

Featured firm in this article: Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc of Cambridge, MA

Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Cambridge developer of novel and generic drugs alike, has bought the sialic switch technology assets of fellow Cambridge biotech Virdante Pharmaceuticals Inc. The acquisition calls for a $4.5 million upfront payment by Momenta to Virdante for its intellectual property and cell lines linked to the sialylation of intravenous immunoglobulin, with the potential for additional milestone payments that could reach $51.5 million.

Founded in 2008, Virdante created its sialic switch technology, exclusively licensed from The Rockefeller University, to improve anti-inflammatory properties of antibodies. The company said on its own website that it was seeking an acquirer for its technology after realizing that more preclinical research would be required before the sialylated antibodies could go to trial.

Momenta (Nasdaq: MNTA) formed in 2001 from MIT-developed technology for complex sugar molecule sequencing. It's focused now on its two lead drug programs -- M-Enoxaparin, a generic version of Lovenox to treat deep vein thrombosis and acute coronary effects, and M356, a generic version of Copaxone to aid in treating Relapse-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis.