It’s wedding season in the world of fragments – last month we noted the merger of Daiichi Sankyo and Plexxikon, and today SuperGen and Astex Therapeutics announced that they are tying the knot. Unfortunately the “dowry” in this case is considerably smaller: SuperGen will pay Astex shareholders $25 million cash upfront, with an additional $30 million in deferred payments. Astex shareholders will, however, still retain 35% equity in the combined company.
Astex has long been a leader in fragment-based drug discovery, having taken at least three programs from fragments to clinical compounds (see blog entries on AT13387, AT9283, and AT7519). Perhaps it is in recognition of this that the combined entity will be called Astex Pharmaceuticals. Practical Fragments wishes everyone involved the best of luck.