RICHMOND, Va., Nov. 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Indivior PLC (LON: INDV) (“Indivior” or the “Company”) and Opiant Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPNT) (“Opiant”) today announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement under which Indivior will acquire Opiant for an upfront consideration of $20.00 per share, in cash (approximately $145 million in aggregate), plus up to $8.00 per share in contingent value rights (“CVRs”) that may become payable in the event that certain net revenue milestones are achieved during the relevant seven-year period by OPNT003 after its approval and launch. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of each company.
“Our work in combatting addiction has never been more critical, with overdose deaths in the United States occurring at near record numbers1,” said Mark Crossley, Chief Executive Officer of Indivior. “Opiant’s portfolio of product candidates is an excellent strategic fit that diversifies and strengthens our offerings, while Indivior’s strong commercial capabilities are expected to propel a combined product pipeline with the potential to help patients along a continuum from substance use disorder and rescue to recovery. The combination with Opiant will provide Indivior with one of the most comprehensive and relevant treatment platforms to address the ongoing U.S. opioid and overdose epidemic and extends our leadership position in addiction treatments. We look forward to working with Opiant’s talented team as we undertake our shared mission of changing patients’ lives through access to life-transforming treatment for substance use disorders.”Acquisition Strengthens and Extends Indivior’s Position as a Leader in Addiction Treatment
“We are pleased to have reached an agreement that reflects the great potential Opiant has created with OPNT003 and our pipeline of medicines,” said Roger Crystal, M.D., Opiant’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “This transaction combines Opiant with an organization that shares our patient-focused mindset, and we believe creates immediate value for patients, our employees and our stockholders. It will enable us to leverage Indivior’s global scale, commercial strength and scientific expertise to accelerate our mission to create best-in-class medicines for the treatment of substance use disorders and drug overdose.”
Opiant is a biopharmaceutical company developing treatments for addiction and drug overdose leveraging intranasal and injectable delivery technologies. Opiant contributed to the development of the formulation of NARCAN® Nasal Spray, a treatment to reverse opioid overdose. In addition to OPNT003, nasal nalmefene, the pipeline includes OPNT002, nasal naltrexone, which is currently in a Phase II trial to assess its potential as a treatment for alcohol drinking and cravings, and OPNT004, a CB-1 antagonist in preclinical development as a potential injectable treatment for acute cannabinoid overdose (“ACO”).
OPNT003 is an investigational opioid overdose reversal agent that Opiant has been developing alongside a worsening opioid crisis, driven by the increased prevalence of synthetic opioids, such as illicit fentanyl. These powerful drugs are responsible for the surge of overdose deaths in the United States (103,000-plus overdose deaths reported in the latest annual period, of which over 75% were driven by opioids, mainly fentanyl and synthetic opioids1). OPNT003 is designed to be used by non-healthcare individuals and delivered intranasally. Observations from multiple clinical studies reinforce its potential rapid onset and long duration of action. Opiant received FDA Fast Track Designation for OPNT003 in November 2021 and is expected to complete its New Drug Application (“NDA”) submission for OPNT003 with the FDA in the fourth quarter of 2022. Subject to approval by the FDA, anticipated approval for a fast-track application is third quarter 2023, with launch in the United States expected in the ensuing months.
Under the terms of the merger agreement, Indivior will acquire all outstanding shares of Opiant for upfront consideration of $20.00 per share in cash, plus up to $8.00 per share in contingent value rights (“CVRs”) that may become payable in the event that certain net revenue milestones are achieved by Opiant’s lead asset (OPNT003) during the relevant seven-year period. Indivior expects to fund the aggregate upfront consideration of approximately $145 million with existing cash.
Pursuant to the CVRs, Indivior would pay $2.00 per CVR if OPNT003 achieves the following net revenue thresholds during any period of four consecutive quarters prior to the seventh anniversary of the U.S. commercial launch: (i) $225 million, (ii) $300 million, and (iii) $325 million. The remaining (iv) $2.00 per CVR would be paid if OPNT003 achieves net revenue of $250 million during any period of four consecutive quarters prior to the third anniversary of the U.S. commercial launch. The maximum amount payable by Indivior should OPNT003 achieve all four CVRs would be an additional approximately $68 million.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including US antitrust clearance, clearance by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and receipt of approval of Opiant’s stockholders. The members of the Board of Directors of Opiant, who hold approximately 4.5% of the outstanding Opiant shares, have entered into a voting agreement with Indivior and agreed to vote their shares in favor of the transaction. Pending approvals, the parties anticipate completing the transaction in the first quarter of 2023.
The transaction brings together two companies with the leadership, resources, pipeline and history of success to introduce new potentially life-changing addiction treatments, while also delivering the potential to increase net revenue and drive shareholder value. With an enhanced portfolio, Indivior will benefit from:
- Strengthened and Extended Leadership in Addiction Treatment and Science: OPNT003 is highly complementary to SUBLOCADE® (buprenorphine extended-release) Injection for subcutaneous release (CIII) to include both evidence-based treatment and overdose rescue options. The addition of OPNT003 provides Indivior with one of the most comprehensive and relevant treatment platforms to address the ongoing US opioid and overdose epidemic and enhances its portfolio of addiction treatments. Specifically, Opiant brings new formulation and nasal drug development capabilities as well as a pipeline of earlier-stage assets to potentially treat other substance use disorders, including Alcohol Use Disorder, Acute Cannabinoid Overdose and Opioid Use Disorder (OUD).
- A New and Attractive Growth Avenue: OPNT003 diversifies Indivior’s portfolio with a potential highly relevant treatment for opioid overdose rescue. OPNT003 is uniquely suited as a potential treatment for opioid overdose, including synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, which accounted for over 75% of reported U.S. overdose deaths in the twelve-month period ending April 20221. NARCAN® Nasal Spray, the current standard of care for opioid overdose rescue, had peak net revenue of over $400 million in FY 20212 prior to generic entry in December that year. Indivior believes the unique clinical profile of OPNT003 supports the potential for this treatment to deliver annual net revenue of $150 million to $250 million.
- Robust Commercial and Scientific Capabilities: Bringing together the commercial and scientific capabilities and expertise of both companies creates an opportunity to accelerate uptake of OPNT003 upon commercialization. Indivior intends to leverage capabilities in payor access as well as its commercial footprint in Organized Health Systems (OHS) to further optimize the launch. These efforts will be supported by deep advocacy partnerships and a R&D organization that has been focused on innovating and advancing paradigm-changing OUD treatment options for more than 20 years. Opiant’s other clinical and pre-clinical pipeline assets are expected to benefit further from Indivior’s longstanding leadership and relationships in addiction science. Indivior will benefit from Opiant’s commercial leadership with recent experience in the overdose rescue market as well as significant expertise in nasal delivery technology.
- Attractive Financial Profile: Successful commercialization of OPNT003 is expected to be accretive to Indivior’s earnings after the second full year of launch.
OPNT003 is a patented intranasal nalmefene formulation that utilizes an absorption-enhancing technology (Intravail®) to enhance its pharmacodynamic profile leading to the potential to act more quickly and last longer when compared with certain naloxone-based rescue agents such as NARCAN® Nasal Spray. Its clinical profile has the potential to be beneficial given the proliferation of illicit fentanyl and other powerful and illegally made synthetic opioids. OPNT003 is covered by one issued patent for the absorption technology (expiry 2025) and one patent application covering formulation (expiry 2037), along with other patent applications. Development of the OPNT003 program is being partially funded by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), an institute of the National Institutes of Health, and a contract from the Biological Advanced Research and Development Agency (BARDA).
OPNT002 is an investigational nasal naltrexone product targeting Alcohol Use Disorder that is in Phase 2 for the reduction of alcohol consumption or “craving.” The target profile is a self-administered “on-demand” medication.
Opiant has one preclinical program, drinabant, a CB-1 receptor antagonist for Acute Cannabinoid Overdose (OPNT004).
The person responsible for making this announcement is Kathryn Hudson, Company Secretary.
Centerview Partners is serving as financial advisor to Indivior, and Covington & Burling LLP is serving as legal advisor to Indivior. Lazard Frères & Co. LLC is serving as financial advisor to Opiant and Latham & Watkins LLP is serving as legal advisor to Opiant.