Cardiome Buys Swiss Drug Company

Cardiome’s product Brinavess is approved by the EU for treating abnormal heart rhythms

The once struggling local biotech purchases a Swiss pharma company for $23-million

Cardiome Pharma Corp announced Monday that it had bought Correvio LLC, a private Swiss drug company, in a cash and share deal.
Cardiome, once one of the province’s most profitable biopharmaceutical companies, has marketed one product to date, Brinavess, which is approved by the EU for treating abnormal heart rhythms.
In a statement, the company said that the deal will allow the two companies to streamline their complementary in-hospital cardiology products, and will shorten Brinavess’ time to profitability.
The value of the cash and share deal is approximately $23-million, based on Cardiome’s share price of $4.17 at the time of the transaction.
Traded on the Nasdaq (CRME) and the Toronto exchange (COM), Cardiome made appearances on BCBusiness Top 100 list in 2007 through 2011, landing a top five spot as one of B.C.’s most profitable companies in the last year it appeared on the list.
The company’s share price has floundered below five dollars since mid-2011, down from its peak in August 2010 when it was trading at US $45.10.
In 2008, the company, based on the UBC campus, signed an $800-million licensing agreement with pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. Inc. – at the time the largest in Canadian history, according to the company’s former CEO Doug Janzen, who left in 2012. Janzen left shortly after Merck pulled out of the deal, which led the company to cut 78 of its 92 employees.