Alexion Enhances its Rare Disease Business Acquiring Synageva for $8.4 Billion

Rare disease company Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. agreed to acquire smaller rival Synageva BioPharma Corp for $8.4 billion in cash and stock, more than double its market value.

The companies announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement, under which Alexion will acquire Synageva for consideration for $115 in cash and 0.6581 Alexion shares, for each Synageva, implying a total per share value of $230 based on the nine day volume weighted average closing price of Alexion stock through May 5, 2015. The deal enhances Alexion’s rare disease business.

The deal will provide Alexion with Synageva’s late-stage drug Kanuma (sebelipase alfa), which is designed to treat early onset lysosomal acid lipase deficiency, an inherited disease that often kills infants within months. In 2013, the drug was granted Breakthrough Therapy designation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The agency accepted the marketing application for the drug in February, and is scheduled to make a decision on whether to approve the drug in September.

Alexion believes that the company’s pipeline complements its own business. Alexion currently has one drug in the market. The company’s Soliris is the first and only drug approved for the treatment of patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), an ultra-rare, life-threatening blood disorder. Additionally, the drug is the first and only therapy approved for the treatment of atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), a genetic, chronic, ultra-rare disease that can progressively damage vital organs, potentially leading to stroke, heart attack, kidney failure and death. The drug is extremely expensive, costing $500,000 per year.

“Synageva is an ideal strategic and operational fit for Alexion that aligns with what we know well and do well – providing life-transforming therapies to an increasing number of patients with devastating and rare diseases,” said David Hallal, Chief Executive Officer of Alexion. “With strong ongoing Soliris growth in PNH and aHUS worldwide, and the anticipated 2015 global launches of Strensiq and Kanuma, we will accelerate and diversify our revenue growth. We are excited to create the most robust rare disease pipeline in biotech across a range of therapeutic modalities. Synageva is an outstanding company that shares Alexion’s commitment to serving patients with rare diseases, and together we will create increasing value for our stakeholders.”

In addition to Kanuma, the deal gives Alexion SBC-103 for mucopolysaccharidosis IIIB (MPS IIIB), a genetic and progressive rare metabolic disease, as well as expanded manufacturing capabilities with three Synageva upstream facilities. Synageva’s integrated system of proprietary vectors will create additional therapies with better targeting capabilities and potential for greater efficacy.

Both companies’ Boards of Directors have unanimously approved the transaction, which is expected to accelerate and diversify Alexion’s growing revenues.

“This transaction provides Synageva shareholders with immediate value and the opportunity to participate in Alexion’s long-term growth potential,” said Felix Baker, PhD, Chairman of Synageva’s Board of Directors. “I am excited to be joining the board of Alexion, a leading, global biotechnology company that is aligned with the mission that Synageva was founded upon – to serve patients who would otherwise be left behind.”

Source: Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Last updated: 5/6/15; 10:05am EST


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