* Buys EKOS Corp, Nordion unit for combined initial $380 mln
* Adds liver cancer, DVT treatments
* Says lays foundation of $1 billion business
* Shares down 0.2 percent
By Paul Sandle
LONDON, May 23 British pharmaceutical company
BTG announced two deals on Thursday that it said could
create an interventional medicine business with potential sales
of $1 billion.
Chief Executive Louise Makin told Reuters the deals would
more than double BTG's revenues in the fast-growing market of
targeting specific areas rather than administering drugs to the
BTG added to its liver cancer treatments by agreeing to buy
the targeted therapies division of Nordion Inc for
about $200 million, adding Therasphere radioactive glass beads
to its chemotherapy beads unit.
It is also buying EKOS Corp for an initial $180 million,
plus up to $40 million in future payments, to gain a treatment
for severe blood clots, which can be fatal if they cause a
Some of the cost of buying the Nordion unit will come from
the placing of 32.8 million new shares, representing just under
10 percent of BTG's share capital, BTG said.
"Together we can see we are going to have the potential to
build a $1 billion business," Makin said in an interview on
Thursday. "We are going to have the important products for the
vascular surgeons, the interventional radiologists and the
Shares in the group were trading 0.2 percent lower at 338
pence by 1149 GMT, outperforming a 2.2 percent weaker mid-cap
Analysts Savvas Neophytou at Panmure Gordon and Peel Hunt's
Paul Cuddon both upgraded BTG to "buy" from "hold" on the back
of the deals.
Cuddon said he did not expect the acquisitions to boost
earnings in the next two years but in the longer term they could
make BTG "a more compelling M&A target with critical mass in
RADIOTHERAPY AND CHEMOTHERAPY
Makin said Therasphere would complement the Biocompatibles
chemotherapy beads business it bought two years ago, giving it
targeted delivery systems for both radiotherapy and drugs.
Liver tumours, the world's third most common cancer, respond
well to targeted treatments because the organ's detoxification
function can hamper conventional drugs.
EKOS Corp's EkoSonic product was also a good fit, Makin
said, because the doctors that treat deep vein thrombosis were
also potential customers for BTG's Varisolve treatment for
varicose veins, which has been filed for regulatory approval.
"Varisolve they will be using in the clinic and EkoSonic
when they are in the hospital," she said.
EkoSonic had sales of $28 million last year, but was growing
at around 30 percent a year, she said, and had the potential to
reach more than $100 million in sales.