York-based Unilife enters multi-million dollar collaboration

David Weissman
  • Collaboration between York-based Unilife and California-based Amgen worth up to $75 million.
  • Unilife, in Conewago Township, reported $90 million in losses during the 2015 fiscal year.
  • Unilife (UNIS) still in danger of losing listing on NASDAQ Stock Market.

York-based Unilife Corp. entered a collaboration with a California-based biotech company that could net up to $75 million, according to a company press release.

Unilife, a Conewago Township developer and supplier of injectable drug-delivery systems, had been exploring the idea of selling the company, a strategic partnership or technology licensing arrangement since September.

In a September press release, the company announced it would be laying off about 50 workers in a cost-cutting effort after reporting more than $90 million in losses during the 2015 fiscal year.

The collaboration with Amgen includes licensing, investment, development and supply agreement components. Unilife has granted Amgen exclusive rights to Unilife’s wearable injectors within select drug classes for use with certain Amgen assets, while preserving rights previously granted to other Unilife customers, according to the release.

Unilife in danger of losing NASDAQ listing

Under terms of the agreement, Amgen paid a nonrefundable $20 million licensing fee and purchased a $30 million senior-secured convertible note. Amgen may purchase up to an additional $25 million in senior-secured convertible notes over the next two years.

Those payments are in addition to Amgen's $15 million payment to Unilife when it entered into exclusive talks on Dec. 31, 2015.

Despite the additional funds, Unilife (UNIS) is still in danger of losing its listing on the NASDAQ Stock Market.

The company has until May 31 to close at at least $1 per share for 10 consecutive business days in order to regain compliance after closing below $1 per share for 30 consecutive days.

Since the collaboration was finalized in early February, Unilife has closed above $1 per share nine times but, at most, three of those days were consecutive.

If the company is unable regain compliance by that date, it may be eligible for an 180-day extension if it transfers its listing to the NASDAQ Capital Market.

— Reach David Weissman at