Novalar Plans Shutdown Following Sale of OraVerse to Septodont

Xconomy San Diego — 

It turns out that Novalar Pharmaceuticals’ decision to sell OraVerse, its dental anesthesia reversal agent, was only half the story.

Novalar CEO Donna Janson tells The San Diego Union-Tribune today that the venture-backed company has no other drug candidates in its pipeline and will soon shut down. The Union-Tribune says the company plans to lay off its remaining 12 employees in coming weeks. The company’s website yesterday included information about another drug that Novalar had licensed in 2007, but that information was not available on Novalar’s website today.

Novalar made no mention of the shutdown in its statement yesterday. Janson was not immediately available for comment by e-mail or telephone this afternoon.

Novalar sold OraVerse to Septodont, a privately owned company based in St. Maur, France, (and not Lancaster, PA, as I reported) for an undisclosed payment “to Novalar and its investors.” In comments to the U-T today, Janson indicates that Septodont’s upfront payment, along with milestone payments and royalties from OraVerse sales, would be going to Novalar’s investors. She told the newspaper that selling OraVerse provided “the most lucrative return for our investors.”

Novalar’s venture investors include Domain Associates, Boston Millennia Partners, Genevest, Montreux Equity Partners, New Enterprise Associates, SR One, and Sears Capital Management.