Oriel Therapeutics, a Durham company developing treatments for asthma and other respiratory ailments, has been acquired by Sandoz, the generic-drug division of pharmaceutical giant Novartis.
Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. In 2007, Oriel raised $26.5 million in venture-capital financing.
The company was founded in 2001 by Anthony Hickey and Timothy Crowder, based on inhaled drug-delivery technology developed at the UNC School of Pharmacy.
Oriel's products include experimental, generic treatments for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. The company also developed a new type of disposable dry powder inhaler to improve delivery of respiratory drugs.
"Oriel is a strong strategic fit with Sandoz and the acquisition is expected to support our strategy of increasing the number of differentiated, higher-value products in our development pipeline," said Jeff George, division head of Sandoz, in a prepared statement.
Oriel's investors, including New Leaf Venture Partners, Thomas, McNerney & Partners, HealthCare Ventures and CHL Medical Partners, will be eligible to receive milestone payments based on the company's products meeting future goals.
As with other big drug makers, Novartis is seeking promising new products to bolster its pipeline and boost revenue. The Swiss company's Sandoz division employs about 23,000 people worldwide and reported net sales of $7.5 billion last year.
Oriel officials, including CEO Richard Fuller, couldn't be reached for comment.