Cydan Development Announces the Acquisition of Its First Rare Disease Spin-out, Vtesse, Inc. by Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Cydan Development Announces the Acquisition of Its First Rare Disease Spin-out, Vtesse, Inc. by Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

April 3, 2017

Cambridge, Mass., April 3, 2017Cydan Development, Inc., an orphan drug accelerator dedicated to creating therapies that improve the lives of people living with rare genetic diseases, today announces that Vtesse, Inc., its first rare disease spin-out company, has been acquired by Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCMP). Following a collaboration with the National Center for Advancing Translations Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Vtesse was launched by Cydan in 2015 to advance its orphan drug candidate, VTS-270, for the treatment of Niemann-Pick Disease Type C (NPC).

Sucampo has acquired Vtesse, Inc. for an upfront consideration of $200 million. Sucampo funded the acquisition through the issuance of 2,782,678 shares of Sucampo Class A common stock and $170 million of cash on hand.

“We are pleased to see the tremendous progress in NPC that Vtesse has made with advancing VTS-270 into a fully enrolled, pivotal Phase2/3 trial. With the addition of Sucampo’s commercial expertise, once approved, NPC patients in the U.S. and around the globe will benefit,” said Chris Adams, Ph.D., co-founder and chief executive officer at Cydan. “The success of Vtesse, along with the advancement of Cydan’s second spin-out, Imara, are significant validations of the Cydan model to accelerate the development of meaningful rare disease therapies.”

In addition to today’s announcement on its acquisition, Vtesse also announced that its original investors including Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc., Bay City Capital LLC, Lundbeckfond Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA) and Pfizer Venture Investments (PVI), along with Sucampo shareholders, intend to establish a joint foundation to support further basic research and build disease awareness of NPC.

About Vtesse

Vtesse, Inc. is a rare disease company dedicated to developing drugs for patients suffering from underserved diseases. Vtesse closely collaborates with National Institutes of Health (NIH), parents, patient support groups and other academic institutions to advance VTS-270 towards regulatory approval. Vtesse is also progressing earlier stage programs for lysosomal storage diseases, including next-generation therapeutics for NPC.

NPC is a rare genetic disorder that begins impacting the lives of those affected from birth to early adulthood. Clinical symptoms do not slow or reverse. Complications from neurological manifestations are the primary cause of eventual fatalities.

VTS-270 is a well-characterized complex mixture of 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HPβCD) with a specific compositional fingerprint that distinguishes it from other HPβCD mixtures. Preclinical and early clinical studies suggest that the administration of VTS-270 may slow or stop certain indicators of NPC disease. The ongoing Phase 2b/3 study is a prospective, randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled trial of VTS-270, which will conclude a year after the full enrollment of the study.

Vtesse is based in Gaithersburg, Maryland. For more information, visit

About Cydan Development, Inc.

Cydan is an orphan drug accelerator dedicated to delivering therapies that will significantly improve the lives of people living with rare genetic diseases. Cydan evaluates experimental new therapies and advances those with the highest potential to be disease modifying treatments. Cydan’s goal is to launch new companies focused on developing promising therapies for rare genetic diseases with high unmet medical need. Vtesse, Cydan’s first new company, was launched in January 2015 and is developing a novel therapy for Niemann-Pick Disease Type C (NPC). Imara was launched in 2016 and is developing IMR-687, a novel treatment for Sickle Cell disease. Cydan was founded in 2013 by a management team with extensive drug discovery, clinical development and business development experience and financed by leading life sciences investors NEA, Pfizer Venture Investments, Lundbeckfond Ventures, Bay City Capital and Alexandria Venture Investments. The accelerator is based in Tech Square in Cambridge, Mass. For more information, visit or contact Cydan at

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