Turing Pharmaceuticals has received a $100 million offer for the drug that triggered a national uproar over drug price gouging, Endpoints News has learned.
The company, launched by Martin Shkreli before he became a lightning rod in the controversy over extreme drug pricing, was supposed to gather votes today on proposed members of the board at Turing. That vote was scheduled after research chief Eliseo Salinas took over recently as interim CEO as various factions fought for control of the company.
Instead of a board vote, though, Salinas distributed a letter to shareholders today saying that the vote would be postponed as the company considers an offer of $100 million in cash for Daraprim from an unnamed third party.
One of the individuals involved in the vote sent a copy of the letter to Endpoints News, which has been covering this story from the beginning.
The bidder “has conducted significant due diligence on Daraprim under a Confidentiality Agreement, and is committed to closing the transaction within 30 days of acceptance of the offer, subject to a possible delay for Hart-Scott-Rodino filing or other legal or regulatory reviews,” the letter states.
The letter goes on to say that the offer arrived last Friday and is being reviewed for fairness. That review is expected by the end of May. It goes on to add that the company has been considering a sale, merger or new capital infusion for the past year, after the controversy over Shkreli’s decision to jack up the price of Daraprim by more than 5000% erupted into controversy.
Turing is a private company and has never revealed exactly what it’s been making on Daraprim after buying it from Impax for $55 million, hiking the price of the old drug from $13.50 to $750 a tablet.
The company confirmed the talks late Tuesday and issued this statement:
“In keeping with standard corporate practice, Turing’s Board is fulfilling its fiduciary obligation to evaluate a credible offer for DARAPRIM that was recently received from a reputable pharmaceutical entity. Due to confidentiality restrictions, we cannot disclose information about the offeror. Turing continues to focus on development and commercialization of innovative treatments for serious diseases and conditions across a broad range of therapeutic areas.”
Shkreli, who first offered to reduce the price, instead scampered away, taunting critics and claiming that his move was just small time when compared to Big Pharma’s annual price hikes. He is now facing a trial on unrelated federal fraud charges next month in a Manhattan courtroom.
Shkreli’s trial is slated to begin June 26, 5 days after the CEO scheduled a new board vote.
If the sale goes through, the letter continues, investors will be in line for $11 to $13 a share, once enough cash is set aside for legal and other contingencies. The company will continue to work in R&D, according to the CEO.
Salinas took over the company recently after serving as research chief. He replaced longtime Shkreli associate Ron Tilles, who was left in charge after Shkreli resigned shortly after his arrest. That switchup recently triggered a fight over the board seats and control of Turing, starting a fight that has yet to be resolved.
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