NEW YORK, LONDON and HAMILTON, Bermuda, January 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Celtic Pharmaceutical Holdings L.P. (Celtic Pharma) today announced the formation of a strategic partnership between Ipsen and Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals (Inspiration) to create a world leading hemophilia franchise, an important milestone for the Celtic Pharma portfolio.

Prior to this strategic partnership, Celtic Pharma held a direct interest in Inspiration's lead compound, IB1001 (rFIX), a new version of recombinant Factor IX which is in late stage clinical trials for the acute and preventative treatment of bleeding in patients with hemophilia B. The firm also held an equity interest in the company. As part of this transaction, Celtic Pharma has exchanged both interests into a new class of preferred shares in Inspiration, constituting a significant equity interest in the new enterprise.

As part of the agreement, Ipsen will provide up to $259 million of funding to Inspiration for the further development and commercialization of OBI-1 and Inspiration's hemophilia products. At closing, Ipsen will acquire shares of Inspiration preferred stock for $85 million, representing a 20% ownership stake in Inspiration. Inspiration will exclusively sub-license worldwide rights to OBI-1, Ipsen's recombinant porcine factor VIII product for the treatment of patients with acquired hemophilia and hemophilia A, who have developed an inhibitory immune reaction to human forms of factor VIII, which is scheduled to begin a Phase III trial this year. Under the terms of the agreement, Ipsen will make payments of up to $174 million to Inspiration upon the achievement of certain clinical and regulatory milestones. Upon certain triggering events, Ipsen would also have a defined path to acquire control of Inspiration.

The vision that has driven this bold strategic move by the leadership of both Ipsen and Inspiration further validates our investment model, says Stephen Evans-Freke, Managing General Partner of Celtic Pharma. The therapeutic expertise of both Inspiration and Ipsen creates the opportunity to build the leading franchise in hemophilia over the coming years and, through four products in development, make available therapy choices for virtually the entire global hemophilia patient population. We are excited to be a part of this important initiative, and thank the Inspiration team for the opportunity to partner with them in bringing Inspiration and rFIX to this point.

This substantive transaction demonstrates a major increase in value and creates a new force in hemophilia, commented John Mayo, Managing General Partner of Celtic Pharma. It is a win, win, win deal for Ipsen, Inspiration and Celtic Pharma.

We are thankful to Celtic Pharma for their early commitment to Inspiration and their willingness to structure a creative investment in our company, said John Taylor, Co-Founder and Chairman of Inspiration. In particular, we appreciate the contribution of Celtic's investment team, led by Reinaldo M. Diaz, in enabling Inspiration to achieve this important milestone.

About Celtic Pharmaceutical Holdings L.P.

Celtic Pharmaceutical Holdings L.P. (Celtic Pharma) is a global private equity investment firm focused on the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Celtic Pharma was founded by Stephen Evans-Freke and John Mayo, CBE and is based in Bermuda, with offices in New York and London. Celtic Pharma acquires and invests in late stage pharmaceutical programs and manages these programs through their development to regulatory approval. Celtic Pharma's aim is to bridge the gap between the established pharmaceutical companies' new product pipeline crisis and the biotech industry's capital drought. For further information, please visit Celtic Pharma's website at

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release that are not historical facts, including statements that are preceded by, or followed by, or that include words such as may, expect, anticipate, believe, or plan, or similar statements, are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including risks relating to the results of the clinical trials for rFIX and the ability of Inspiration to obtain regulatory approval for rFIX. Actual results may differ materially from those projected. These forward-looking statements represent our judgment as of the date of the release. We disclaim, however, any intent to update these forward-looking statements.

SOURCE: Celtic Pharmaceutical Holdings L.P.

CONTACT: Kathy Armstrong, Investor Relations of Celtic Pharma,+1-212-616-4042,; or media, in the US, RobertStanislaro, +1-212-850-5657, or Irma Gomez-Dib, +1-212-850-5761, or in theUK, John Dineen, +44(0)20-7269-7193, all of FD