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Alexion to acquire Wilson Therapeutics
Posted on Thursday, 12 April 2018 09:30
US-based Alexion Pharmaceuticals has reached an agreement to acquire Swedish drugmaker Wilson Therapeutics for SEK 7.10 billion (USD 852.06 million).
The company has its eye on the target’s WTX101 drug, currently in phase 3 developments as a novel treatment for Wilson Disease, a rare, genetic, copper-mediated, liver disorder.
Alexion has submitted an all cash offer of SEK 232.00 per share in Wilson Therapeutics, a 70.3 per cent premium on the firm’s close to SEK 136.20 on 10th April 2018, which it intends to fund through cash on hand.
The proposal has already been recommended by the target’s board to its stockholders, six of which have offered their support for the deal, amounting to roughly 73.4 per cent of the group’s outstanding capital.
Completion is subject to the usual raft of approvals, including the green light from relevant regulatory authorities and is slated for the second quarter of 2018.
Chief executive of Alexion, a global biopharmaceutical company focused on treating rare diseases, Ludwig Hantson said the group will benefit from the overlap with “our current clinical and commercial focus on metabolic and neurologic disorders, and is an important first step in rebuilding our clinical pipeline”.
He added: “Wilson disease is a rare disorder that can lead to severe liver disease, including cirrhosis and acute liver failure, as well as debilitating neurological morbidities such as impaired movement, gait, speech, swallowing, and psychiatric disorders.
“WTX101 is an innovative product that addresses the underlying cause of the disease and has the potential to define a new standard of care in treating Wilson disease, an area that has not had a new treatment in over two decades.”
Reuters picked up on the potential deal and observed that Alexion started the decade as one of the stars in the biotechnology sector but has, in recent years, faced more trouble due to management and sales practice scandals related to expensive rare disease treatment Soliris.
Shares in Wilson Therapeutics increased 69.2 per cent to SEK 230.50 following the announcement.
Wilson disease affects about 10,000 patients in the US and around 15,000 in Western Europe with the majority of diagnosed people between the ages of ten and 30.
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