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Novo Nordisk ups acquisition bid to €2.6 billion, Ablynx says no

Published on 08/01/18 at 09:21am

It has emerged that Novo Nordisk has extended a bid of €2.6 billion to buy Belgian biotech Ablynx. The new offer comes in at €28 per share and is 14% higher than the one the company made on 22 December – a bid which Ablynx rejected. The deal also included an additional €2.50 per share dependent on specific research portfolio conditions.

However, when Novo’s Chief Executive Lars Fruergaard spoke with Ablynx Dirctor and CEO Edwin Moses to encourage discussion of key value drivers, the latter company rejected the most recent offer, with Fruergaard remarking: “Unfortunately, this offer was again refused by the Board of Directors of Ablynx."

Novo Nordisk has sought to acquire the biotech primarily due to the value it sees in its rare blood disorder drug caplacizumab, a treatment for thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura – a therapy it feels would be a strong addition to its haematology pipeline.  

“The proposed transaction would combine Novo Nordisk's regulatory, scientific and commercial expertise with Ablynx's strong existing medical teams to optimise the development and global commercialisation of caplacizumab," Novo Nordisk explained in a statement.

Ablynx, a specialist in novel therapies derived from nano-bodies found in the immune systems of llamas and alpacas, has seen its shares almost double in value over the past 12 months on the back of strong clinical trial data.

Matt Fellows

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