Sometime in December, John Plachetka of Pozen (Nasdaq: POZN) is going to get a nice bonus.
Fresh from two recent deals that brought in cash and guarantees of royalties, the Chapel Hill pharmaceutical firm said Thursday evening that it will pay a $1.75 per share dividend in December firm from “surplus” cash.
Pozen’s CEO is among the biggest beneficiaries at just south of $10 million since he owns more than 550,000 shares of stock – or some 14 percent of the company – according to EDGAR Online data published at Yahoo Finance.
”This distribution represents a surplus of corporate cash and is expected to be treated as a return of capital to stockholders,” Pozen said in the announcement. ”Pozen is committed to return as much cash to our stockholders as is prudent.”
The cash comes in part from a deal with Sanofi (NYSE: SNY) that was announced in September.
The deal involving a “safer on the stomach” aspirin combination drug will be commercialized by Sanofi, which awarded $15 million up front to Pozen. Pozen also stands to gain pre-commercialization milestones of up to $20 million and other future milestones and royalties depending on sales of the PA drugs.
Pozen developed both PA8140 and PA32540, the same drug but in different dosages, as a way to deliver the heart protective qualities of aspirin in a form that reduces the gastrointestinal risks associated with aspirin alone.
Sanofi will have responsibility for all sales, marketing, manufacturing and future development for the licensed PA products in the U.S. But it’s still up to Pozen to secure Food and Drug Administration approval for the new drug application that the company filed for the drugs in March. An FDA approval decision is expected in the first quarter of 2014. If FDA does approve the drugs, responsibility for the products then shifts to Sanofi.
In Thursday,s announcement, Pozen noted that deal and also said “reducing staff” is part of that transition.
“Pozen remains committed to obtaining U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of PA8140/PA32540 and transitioning all know-how to Sanofi US, completing the remaining Phase 1 study and EU MAA filing for PA10040, trying to partner all un-partnered assets and reducing staff and costs as activities are completed.”
Earlier this week, Pozen struck a deal with Horizon Pharma and AstraZeneca that transitions its osteoarthritis drug Vimovo to Horizon.
The drug’s U.S. rights went to Horizon and Pozen gets to pocket at least $5 million a year in guaranteed minimum royalties from Vimovo sales.