PA Consulting sells drug delivery venture, Meridica, to Pfizer

Pfizer and PA Consulting Group have announced the signing of a transaction in which Pfizer will purchase the remaining 90% ownership of Meridica Limited, a drug delivery technology company for $125 million and a contingent payment.

The transaction is subject to normal conditions and is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Meridica is a drug delivery technology company that designs and develops technologies for the pharmaceutical industry. It was established by PA Consulting Group, the management, systems and technology consulting firm, in May 2001 as part of the firm's venture program. In October 2003, Pfizer purchased a 10% interest in the company and licensed the rights to Meridica's dry powder inhaler.

Kelvin Cooper, Ph.D., Pfizer Senior Vice President, Worldwide Pharmaceutical Sciences, said: "The acquisition of Meridica strengthens Pfizer's presence in the growing allergy and respiratory therapeutic area, where there remains a high level of unmet medical need. Meridica has a proven-track record in developing technologically advanced drug delivery systems and its strength in this area will help Pfizer accelerate the development of allergy and respiratory product candidates in our pipeline."

Meridica's Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ian J Smith, said: "We are delighted to be joining such a successful, world-class pharmaceutical company. It is a tremendous endorsement of both Meridica's technologies and our committed and innovative staff. We are very excited about the future and our work in developing new products that will benefit millions of patients with respiratory disease."

Jon Moynihan, Executive Chairman of PA, said: "This deal with Pfizer is recognition of Meridica's major achievements, accomplished in a startlingly swift timeframe; its innovative technologies; and PA's wider venture program. The deal offers a healthy return to our shareholders, giving PA additional confidence to invest further in some of the promising new ventures that we have coming through at the moment. The future holds significant opportunity for Meridica and we wish our colleagues every success with Pfizer."

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