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Burrill Merchant Banking Advises FAES Farma on Phase III Licensing Agreement

November 29, 2006

San Francisco, CA - November 29, 2006

Burrill Merchant Banking is leading a process for the worldwide partnering of bilastine for FAES Farma and recently closed an agreement for U.S. and Canadian rights with Inspire Pharmaceuticals.

Inspire Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced this week the signing of a licensing agreement for the U.S. and Canadian development and commercialization of bilastine, a Phase III oral antihistamine compound for the treatment or prevention of allergic rhinitis, a condition affecting approximately 40 million people in the U.S.

Under the terms of the agreement, Inspire has acquired exclusive rights to further develop and commercialize oral formulations of bilastine in the U.S and Canada, as well as the exclusive right to develop and commercialize the ocular formulation in various markets worldwide. The agreement provides that Inspire will pay FAES an upfront license fee of $7 million and up to an additional $82 million of payments, contingent upon achievement of various development, regulatory and sales milestones. Inspire will also pay a royalty of 14-16% on net sales of the oral formulations of bilastine in the U.S. and Canada, if approved by regulatory authorities.

Christy L. Shaffer, Ph.D., President and CEO of Inspire, commented, "Our collaboration with FAES represents an ideal strategic opportunity for Inspire. Bilastine expands our allergy franchise and will leverage our clinical development expertise and historical success of our commercial team. We have the opportunity to develop and commercialize multiple formulations of the compound for oral and ocular uses. We expect that bilastine can generate significant near-term revenues and bridge to the commercialization of other compounds in our pipeline. Based on the clinical profile to date, we believe that the oral formulations of bilastine, if approved by regulatory authorities, could generate more than $200 million dollars in peak sales in the $3 billion annual oral antihistamine market in the U.S."

Dr. Francisco Quintanilla, Managing Director of FAES Farma, commented, "We are pleased to establish this partnership with Inspire, which will enable us to leverage the global opportunity for bilastine, an important compound that came from our internal research and development efforts. The allergy market in the U.S. represents a large and attractive revenue opportunity."

Bilastine is a new chemical entity (NCE) that is a non-sedating, highly selective H1-antihistamine with a U.S. composition of matter patent through 2017. FAES has assessed the efficacy, tolerability and safety of bilastine in the once-daily oral tablet formulation in multiple clinical trials, including two large, potentially pivotal Phase 3 seasonal allergic rhinitis trials in Europe that had positive outcomes.

About Burrill Merchant Banking
Burrill Merchant Banking assists life science companies to identify, negotiate and close strategic transactions. Service lines include:

  • Merger & Acquisitions across life sciences
  • Strategic Partnering from early-stage research, to product development and commercialization
  • Spin-Outs and Divestitures to create a new company or build value in an established entity
  • Financing Advisory and Private Placement
  • Advisory Services defining the role of transactions in achieving strategic objectives
About Burrill & Company
Founded in 1994, Burrill & Company is a San Francisco-based global leader in life sciences with principal activities in Venture Capital, Merchant Banking and Media. It has over $725 million in venture capital funds under management and has completed numerous merchant banking transactions. The company¹s 50 person scientific and business team, supported by its nearly 40-person Advisory Boards, the strategic and financial network of its limited partners, and the close relationships developed with numerous life science companies and management, provide Burrill with unparalleled access and insight.

The company’s Media Group publishes an annual book on the "State of the Industry" ­ the 20th Edition is Biotech 2006-Life Sciences: A Changing Prescription. Burrill also publishes a range of biotechnology/life science newsletters and reports and is also the sponsor and facilitator of over a dozen leading industry conferences. Full details may be found at:

Media Contact
For more information please contact James Watson, Managing Director, Head of Merchant Banking at


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