Like its name implies, Sprout is taking root as a business sprouting from the remains of a firm sold, now reseeded and reborn.
Cindy Whitehead is bringing Sprout Pharmaceuticals back to life as Sprout2, according to documents filed in Delaware and North Carolina. She and her partners are reviving the company they sold for $1 billion to drug giant Valeant two years ago after Valeant decided to basically give it and rights to the female sexual enhancement drug Addyi to the original shareholders.
Known as the “little pink pill,” Addyi also has been called “the female Viagra.”
The paperwork timeline shows that Whitehead and her colleagues had laid the groundwork for the relaunch before Valeant disclosed its decision to give up on its $1 billion buy.
Whitehead, who led Raleigh-based Sprout as its CEO, incorporated Sprout2 in Delaware on Oct. 31 along with Robert Whitehead and Eric Atkins. Whitehead is listed as CEO, Robert Whitehead as chief operating officer, and Atkins as chief financial officer.
The same three then registered with the State of North Carolina to do business on Nov. 2.
Valeant announced the decision on Monday, Nov. 6, as part of a lawsuit dismissal by Sprout’s original shareholders who charged the company had not lived up to terms of the 2015 acquisition by not supporting aggressively enough – on their view – sales of Addyi.
To help seal the deal, Valeant is providing $25 million in financing to help Whitehead restart the company. The deal is expected to close before the end of the year. Valeant also will receive a percentage of Addyi sales beginning 18 months after relaunch.
Mum – so far
So far, Whitehead has declined to talk about what transpired with Valeant.
Sprout2’s office is located at 4208 Six Forks Road in Raleigh.
Whitehead’s consulting and investment firm called The Pink Ceiling, which she launched after selling Sprout, is listed as the registered agent for Sprout2 in the N.C. paperwork.
Whitehead became CEO of Sprout in January of 2015 at which time Robert Whitehead gave up the CEO role to become vice chairman of the board and executive director.