Six Irish businessmen are set to share more than $635m after selling a company that developed a drug used to treat opioid overdoses.
Waterford entrepreneur Seamus Mulligan co-founded Adapt Pharma four years ago.
They developed the first non-injectable form of Narcan. The nasal spray is commonly used by police, health workers and even teachers in the US and Canada.
According to the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention Opioid overdoses killed over 70,000 people last year.
The drug hit the headlines this summer when it was used to revive singer Demi Lovato after she suffered an overdose.
The Irish Times reports that the company is being sold to Emergent Biosolutions – it’s known for its vaccines for killer diseases like anthrax, smallpox and the Zika virus.
Emergent is paying $635 million up front – $575 million in cash and $60 million in shares. The Irish businessmen stand to make a further $100 million in cash if Narcan hits certain sales targets between now and 2022.
Mr Mulligan, who owns just over 80 per cent of Adapt, will stay on as a consultant to the new owners when the deal is closed.
Mr Mulligan, who is chairman and chief executive of Adapt and who came to prominence as head of Elan Drug Technologies, said the deal would allow the companies to focus on the opioid crisis, “the leading public health issue of our time”.
“With a shared mission of protecting lives from public health threats, I am confident that our combined expertise and resources will accelerate access to Narcan nasal spray through investments in public awareness and manufacturing capacity while maintaining a responsible pricing approach,” he said.