Plans to sell the unit emerged in December 2010 after the loss of a deal with Merck & Co contributed to worsening performance. In the past two quarters operating losses at the pharma unit totalled $3.1m and SurModics will now shed the business to focus on medical devices and in-vitro diagnostics.
“The sale of the pharma assets is an important milestone towards achieving our goal of returning SurModics to sustainable, long-term profitability” Gary Maharaj, president and CEO of SurModics, said.
As part of the deal Evonik will take ownership of a 90,000 sq ft cGMP (cuurent good manufacturing practice) production and development facility in Birmingham, Alabama. SurModics opened the site in January 2010, in part, to add commercial-scale manufacturing capabilities but sales fell that year.
Jean-Luc Herbeaux, head of Evonik's health care business, said: “Evonik's acquisition of SurModics' pharmaceuticals assets demonstrates our view of the pharmaceuticals market as a strategic core business in which we intend to continue to invest and grow.”
Herbeaux highlighted parenteral products and biodegradable polymers possessed by SurModics as factors motivating the acquisition. Drug delivery technologies possessed by SurModics include liposomes, microparticles and bioabsorbable implants.
SurModics has applied these technologies to several therapeutic areas, including ophthalmology and cardiovascular disease. In fiscal 2010 cardiovascular accounted for more than half of revenues at SurModics and was the only unit to grow sales, although the increase was one per cent.
The deal is subject to closing conditions but SurModics expects to complete the sale this month.