San Diego Business Journal

Zacharon Pharmaceuticals Acquired by BioMarin

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

San Diego-based Zacharon Pharmaceuticals has been acquired by Novato-based BioMarin Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $10 million upfront.

BioMarin may make additional payments to Zacharon for clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones, it said in a statement.

Zacharon, a privately held company that develops drugs for Tay Sachs disease and related disorders, was originally funded by government grants and by La Jolla-based life science and tech venture capital firm Avalon Ventures. It was founded in 2004.

In 2011, the company announced that it entered a research collaboration deal with New York-based pharma giant Pfizer Inc. that could lead to $210 million for meeting development milestones, plus royalties and sales milestones upon commercialization.

But all of the rights now belong to BioMarin, and Pfizer is no longer involved in any of Zacharon’s projects, said Debra Charlesworth, a spokeswoman for BioMarin.

“The acquisition of Zacharon will further expand our glycobiology expertise and will support our lysosomal storage disease drug development efforts,” said BioMarin CEO Jean-Jacques Bienaimé in a statement. “We are committed to investing in our advancing pipeline, which has evolved through a combination of internal development and targeted acquisitions, such as this.”

— Meghana Keshavan