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Pfizer buys drug delivery firm Meridica for $125m


Related topics: Delivery technologies, Ingredients

Drug giant Pfizer is planning to buy UK-based drug delivery company Meridica in a move that it says will bolster its activities in allergy and respiratory medicine.

Pfizer is paying $125 million (€101m) for the remaining 90 per cent of Meridica, which specialises in the development of inhalers and intranasal delivery devices, and expects the deal to close before year-end. The company's lead technology is its Xcelovair dry powder inhaler (DPI), which has been developed for use in the treatment of asthma and other respiratory diseases.

Last month, Meridica started the first clinical trial data with the device, in order to compare the safety and efficacy of the beta agonist formoterol delivered via the Xcelovair or a current DPI.

The UK company's other technologies include Xcelodose, an automated and programmable tool for the precise metering of drugs into capsules and other solid dosage form containers; Xcelovent, a device that provides breath-actuated delivery of drugs from pressurised metered dose inhalers; and Xcelonase, a nasal drug delivery system that promises to improve the efficiency of delivery compared to current devices, according to Meridica.

The Xcelodose can handle drug compounds without bulking agent or excipient and can precisely fills at a rate of several hundred capsules/ with doses from as low as 100ug to 100mg.

Pfizer is buying Meridica from PA Consulting Group, which established the UK company in 2001. In October 2003, Pfizer purchased a 10 per cent interest in the company and licensed the rights to Meridica's dry powder inhaler.