merger acquisition businessSasmar Pharmaceuticals has acquired Aquatrove Biosciences, a biotechnology company focussed on discovery, research and development in human reproductive health and fertility.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sasmar, through its Australian-based holding, acquired all stock in privately held Aquatrove in exchange for an upfront payment of an undisclosed sum in cash. The deal, formally closed last week, included Aquatrove’s global portfolio of intellectual property, patents and ownership of a rich pool of research data built up during the last 14 years.

Like many pharmaceutical companies, Sasmar is seeking biotechnology acquisitions to bolster product pipelines. Sasmar’s investment strengthens its position as an innovator in the global pharmaceutical market in over-the-counter products supporting health, fertility and reproduction. SASMAR ’s President and CEO, John-Michael Mancini, said: “The acquisition captures the capability and knowhow built up over many years by the specialized team at Aquatrove and facilitates the realization of our plans for growth moving forward.”

In 2008, Sasmar commercialized an Aquatrove patented formulation developed to help increase the chances of a natural pregnancy that all trying to conceive couples could easily use replacing regular personal lubricant with sexual intercourse during ovulation. Data on the novel formulation containing essential ions calcium and magnesium was presented at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the ASRM (American Society for Reproductive Medicine and has since become the market leading fertility lubricant recommended by doctors globally under the brand Conceive Plus Fertility Lubricant.

Exposure to over-the-counter personal lubricants results in rapid loss of sperm viability and motility. The combination of suboptimal pH, osmolality and various additives in these lubricants results in sperm damage and an inability of the sperm to penetrate into the cervix, thereby negatively impacting conception.

The formulation of the Conceive Plus product is a water-based personal lubricant contains essential Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions and optimal pH and osmolality to better mimic the natural fertile cervical fluids to alleviate the problem of vaginal dryness and to assist couples trying-to-conceive. Sasmar received FDA 510(k) clearance for the product in late 2013 and plans to launch the product nationally in major US drug stores from September this year.