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Cypress Bioscience to Acquire Proprius Pharmaceuticals

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Cypress Bioscience, Inc. and Proprius Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has announced that Cypress will acquire Proprius in a transaction that includes an upfront payment of $37.5 million in cash as well as an additional $37.5 million in potential milestone-related payments associated with the development of Proprius’ therapeutic candidates.

The acquisition brings together Cypress’ drug development expertise, commercial resources and lead pharmaceutical candidate, milnacipran, which is currently under U.S. Food & Drug Administration review for the treatment of fibromyalgia, and Proprius’ unique portfolio of proprietary, high-value personalized medicine laboratory services and therapeutic product candidates.

Proprius’ portfolio includes a number of diagnostic, prognostic and predictive technologies designed to provide clinically meaningful, actionable information to enhance physicians’ care of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

The nearest-term commercial opportunities include an early RA prediction technology, which helps to determine the likelihood of developing RA in patients with Undifferentiated Arthritis, and a methotrexate (MTX) polyglutamates monitoring assay, which helps physicians to optimize MTX therapy by providing insights on an individual’s metabolism of MTX, which can vary greatly from patient to patient.

The proprietary portfolio of personalized medicine laboratory services will be marketed through a sales force that Cypress will build around the anticipated commercial launch of milnacipran. The sales force will focus on rheumatologists and other pain specialists. Forest Laboratories is responsible for reimbursing Cypress for the cost of the milnacipran detailing effort to these physicians.