Indivior will acquire Opiant at a price of $20 per share, for around $145m, in addition to $8 per share in contingent value rights (CVRs) subject to achieving certain net revenue milestones


Naloxone is used to reverse the opioid overdose. (Credit: NEXT Distro on Unsplash)

US-based speciality pharmaceuticals company Indivior has agreed to acquire Opiant Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company that develops treatments for addiction and drug overdose, for about $145m.

Under the terms of the agreement, Opiant shareholders will receive an upfront cash payment of $20 per share, which indicates a total consideration of around $145m.

In addition, Indivior will pay up to $8 per share in contingent value rights (CVRs) subject to achieving certain net revenue milestones by Opiant’s lead candidate OPNT003.

The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, is expected in the first quarter of 2023.

It is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval from US antitrust authorities, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS), along with Opiant’s stockholders.

Indivior chief executive officer Mark Crossley said: “Our work in combatting addiction has never been more critical, with overdose deaths in the United States occurring at near record numbers.

“Opiant’s portfolio of product candidates is an excellent strategic fit that diversifies and strengthens our offerings, while Indivior’s strong commercial capabilities are expected to propel a combined product pipeline with the potential to help patients along a continuum from substance use disorder and rescue to recovery.

“The combination with Opiant will provide Indivior with one of the most comprehensive and relevant treatment platforms to address the ongoing U.S. opioid and overdose epidemic and extends our leadership position in addiction treatments.”

Opiant is engaged in developing treatments for addiction and drug overdose, using intranasal and injectable delivery technologies.

The company has contributed to the development of the formulation of NARCAN Nasal Spray (naloxone), a treatment used to reverse opioid overdose.

Its pipeline includes OPNT003, a patented intranasal nalmefene formulation; OPNT002, an investigational nasal naltrexone that targets Alcohol Use Disorder.

In addition, Opiant’s pipeline also includes a preclinical programme OPNT004 (drinabant), a CB-1 receptor antagonist intended for Acute Cannabinoid Overdose.

Opiant president and chief executive officer Roger Crystal said: “This transaction combines Opiant with an organization that shares our patient-focused mindset, and we believe creates immediate value for patients, our employees and our stockholders.

“It will enable us to leverage Indivior’s global scale, commercial strength and scientific expertise to accelerate our mission to create best-in-class medicines for the treatment of substance use disorders and drug overdose.”

In a separate development, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Federal Register notice, stating that certain naloxone products can be safe for over-the-counter use.