Business person of the month: Séamus Mulligan, Adapt Pharma

Adapt agreed a $635m deal in August that will see it taken over by Emergen

Séamus Mulligan, the chairman and chief executive of Adapt Pharma, has been chosen as The Irish Times Business Person of the Month for August, an award run in association with KPMG.

Adapt agreed a deal in August that will see it taken over by a US company, Emergent, that specialises in public health threats. Adapt's very successful Narcan naloxone nasal spray revives people who have overdosed on opioids and is widely used by first responders in the United States, which is in the midst of a nationally declared opioid crisis. The need for additional capital and resources to maximise the public health benefit of the drug was seen as one key reason behind the decision to sell.

Emergent is paying $635 million up front for the business - $575 million in cash and the balance in shares. Mulligan, who owns around 80 per cent of the tightly-held company, could benefit further under an additional payment of $100 million if Narcan meets sales targets.



Mulligan and his team established Adapt in 2014 with an investment of $115 million. Much of that came from their earlier success with another Irish-based drug company, Azur Pharma, which was merged with US group Jazz Pharma in a $500 million all share deal in 2012.

Adapt’s success was based on the drug delivery know how that Mulligan and others developed originally with Elan. Developing a simple-to-use nasal spray form of a drug that was previously available only as an injection made it much easier for non-medical personnel - such as policemen, teachers, family and friends - to help reduce the 72,000 toll of lives lost to overdose in the US alone last year.