Collegium Pharmaceutical's acquisition of BioDelivery Sciences International brings with it a pain reliever that is delivered differently than the current line of medications. The deal also gives Collegium the opportunity to enter the neurology market.

Painkiller company Collegium Pharmaceutical is expanding its reach with the acquisition of BioDelivery Sciences International, a specialty pharmaceutical company based on a technology platform that enables painkillers to be dispensed through a thin, dissolving film placed on the inside of the cheek.

Under financial terms announced Monday, Stoughton, Mass.-based Collegium will pay $5.60 per BDSI share, a 54% premium over the company's closing price last Friday. The all-cash transaction values ​​Raleigh, North Carolina-based BDSI at approximately $604 million.

Collegium's portfolio includes two marketed pain relievers, both oral opioids, indicated for 24-hour pain control. Xtampza ER, which contains oxycodone, is a capsule that is taken every 12 hours, while the Nucynta range consists of three different strengths of tapentadol in tablets that are taken by patients every four to six hours. According to Collegium's financial statements, the two drugs generated sales of $310 million in 2020. Meanwhile, BDSI's best-selling product, Belbuca, delivers the opioid buprenorphine using the company's dissolving film technology. This drug accounted for $136.1 million in product sales in 2020.

In a conference call Monday, Collegium Chief Executive Joe Ciaffoni said portfolio diversification is among his company's top priorities and that BDSI is the "top priority goal." Ciaffoni added that Belbuca complements rather than competes with Collegium's current line of medications.

"We view the acquisition as complementary and these products are clearly positioned in different parts of the pain market," he said.

The acquisition will also bring another BDSI product to Collegium. Elyxyb is an FDA-approved oral solution for the treatment of acute migraine pain in adults. Last September, BDSI acquired the US and Canadian rights to the drug from Dr. Reddy's Laboratories and planned to bring the new compound to market in the first quarter of 2022. The drug provides Collegium with a strategic foothold in neurology, a priority area for the company.

Collegium stems from a corporate restructuring announced last November, which saw a 20% reduction in staff. The acquisition of BDSI has already received unanimous approval from the boards of both companies and the transaction is expected to close at the end of the first quarter of this year. If so, Collegium projects synergies of at least $75 million per year based on BDSI's estimated operating expenses for 2021. It is Collegium's second major acquisition in as many years. Nucynta products were added to the company's portfolio in 2020 through a deal that gave Assertio Therapeutics $375 million for US rights to the drugs.