US biopharmaceutical company Ikaria Inc explores sale

Ikaria Inc, a biopharmaceutical company focused on critical care is exploring a sale that may fetch its private equity and venture capital owners more than $2 billion, reports cited three people familiar with the matter as saying.

Ikaria, whose owners include New Mountain Capital, Arch Venture Partners, Venrock Associates, Linde Group and Black Point Group, has hired Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse to explore a sale.

Ikaria was created in 2007 through the $670 million merger between Ikaria Holdings Inc and German industrial gas producer Linde AG's INO Therapeutics.

New Jersey-based Ikaria is a critical care company focused on developing and commercialising innovative therapies for critically ill patients.

Its flagship product is `Inomax', a nitric oxide for inhalation used to treat hypoxic respiratory failure associated with pulmonary hypertension in infants.

It is also investigating additional indications for `Inomax' in bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and for inhaled nitric oxide with the `INOpulse DS' drug-delivery system as a drug-device combination product in pulmonary arterial hypertension and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The company's late-stage pipeline comprises `Lucassin', a potential treatment for Hepatorenal Syndrome Type 1; and `Bioabsorbable Cardiac Matrix', a potential treatment for preventing cardiac remodelling and subsequent congestive heart failure following acute myocardial infarction.

Ikaria markets its products in Puerto Rico, Canada, Australia, Mexico, and Japan.

Ikaria has a research facility in Wisconsin, and manufacturing facilities in Los Angeles and Wisconsin.