Inspire Pharmaceuticals, the independent manufacturer of the drug Azasite, has announced that it will be acquired by the giant company Merck. The announcement came this morning. The all-cash purchase price is based on the closing stock price of Inspire on April 4, 2011, and represents a 26% premium over that price. Inspire very recently become a company solely devoted to ophthalmic drugs after the unexpected failure of its pulmonary compound in a Phase III study.
Inspire has developed one of the truly groundbreaking medicines in the treatment of Ocular Surface Disease (OSD). Azasite is FDA approved for the treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis. Some two years ago the doctors at Skyvision Centers evaluated the characteristics of Azasite and determined that it was a tremendous medicine for the treatment of Blepharitis and other meibomian gland diseases. They have been in the forefront in evaluating the use of Azasite for treating evaporative Dry Eye Syndrome and were among the first doctors in America to do so. (Such use is an "off-label" use of the medicine).
Dr. White is hopeful that the sales and research staff at Inspire will be retained en masse. "As a group everyone at Skyvision has been uniformly impressed by each and every Inspire employee we have encountered. We are very hopeful that Merck will recognize the incredible value that these people provide to physicians and their patients."
[No Skyvision Centers doctor has any ownership interest in either Inspire of Merck]