CoTherix, Inc.

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CoTherix, Inc.
Cotherix, Inc. logo
Fateacquired by Actelion
Founded 📆2000
Founder 👔
DefunctJanuary 9, 2007 (2007-01-09)
Headquarters 🏙️South San Francisco, California
Area served 🗺️
Key people
Donald J. Santel, CEO & Director
Products 📟 Ventavis
Revenue🤑 $63 million USD
Number of employees
📇 Address
📞 telephone

CoTherix, Inc. was a biopharmaceutical company located in South San Francisco, California. CoTherix focused on licensing, developing, and commercializing therapeutic products for the treatment of cardiopulmonary and other chronic diseases. The company, formerly known as Exhale Therapeutics, Inc., was founded in February 2000 by Gerard Turino, MD, a past president of the American Thoracic Society, and Jerome Cantor, MD, a pulmonary pathologist.

CoTherix's commercial product was "Ventavis (Iloprost)", an inhaled therapy for pulmonary artery hypertension (PAH). It was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration in December 2004, two months after the company's initial public offering of 5 million shares of common stock.

Fasudil, Tracleer, Asahi and Actelion[edit]

Asahi developed fasudil and entered into a licensing and development agreement with CoTherix in July 2006 to pursue regulatory approval and commercialization in the United States and Europe based on their prior track record in this area.[1][2] In November 2006, CoTherix and Actelion signed a merger plan, which was subsequently announced publicly; this followed the initiation of negotiations in August 2006.[2] In January 2007, Actelion completed acquisition of all CoTherix stock, and summarily informed Asahi that work on fasudil would be terminated.[2] Now, Actelion had a competitor blockbuster drug on the market, bosentan (Tracleer).[2] Asashi claimed that Actelion's acquisition of CoTherix was directly aimed at removing fasudil as a competitor therapeutic, which it effectively did.[1] Asahi pursued damages against CoTherix and Actelion initially through arbitration of a breach of contract claim, which netted them US$91 million, then in a jury trial, which resulted in an award of US$580 million in compensatory and punitive damages.[1] This case has served as an exemplar of the notion that a company's contractual obligations persist after that company's acquisition.[1]

On November 20, 2006, CoTherix agreed to be purchased for $420 million in cash by Actelion of Basel, Switzerland. On January 9, 2007, the deal closed with Actelion paying $13.50 for each share of CoTherix stock.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Wolters Kuwer Legal & Regulatory US (2016). "Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp. v. Actelion Ltd.". Torts. Casenote Legal Briefs (11th ed.). New York: Wolters Kluwer. ISBN 978-1-4548-7973-2 – via Google Books. Case reference: 222 Cal. App. 4th 945 (2014) Search this book on Logo.png
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Epstein, Richard Allen; Sharkey, Catherine (2016). "14. Economic Harms". Cases and Materials on Torts. Aspen Casebook Series (11th ed.). New York: Wolters Kluwer. Section B. Inducement of Breach of Contract: Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp. v. Actelion Ltd. ISBN 978-1-4548-7746-2 – via Google Books. Search this book on Logo.png

External links[edit]

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