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Alexion to acquire Achillion Pharma for $930 million

Published on 16/10/19 at 12:14pm

Alexion has revealed it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Achillion Pharmaceuticals in a deal valued at $930 million, it has emerged. The valuation represents an offer of $6.30 per share and a premium of 72.6%, and is to be submitted in cash.

It was noted that the offer also covers an acquisition of the cash currently on Achillion’s balance sheet, totalling around $230 million as of 30 September 2019, as well as non-tradeable contingent value rights in the event that specified clinical and regulatory milestones are met.

As a company, Achillion is focused on the development of oral small molecule Factor D inhibitors to treat people with complement alternative pathway-mediated rare diseases including paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria and C3 glomerulopathy.

“Alexion has demonstrated the transformative impact that inhibiting C5 can have on multiple rare and devastating diseases. However, we believe this is just the beginning of what’s possible with complement inhibition,” commented Dr Ludwig Hantson, Chief Executive Officer of Alexion. “Targeting a different part of the complement system – the alternative pathway – by inhibiting Factor D production addresses uncontrolled complement activation further upstream in the complement cascade, and importantly, leaves the rest of the complement system intact, which is critical in maintaining the body’s ability to fight infection. We believe this approach has the opportunity to help patients with diseases not currently addressed through C5 inhibition. We look forward to applying our nearly three decades of complement and development expertise to unlock the potential of oral Factor D inhibitors and bring these benefits to patients.”

Joe Truitt, President and Chief Executive Officer at Achillion, also remarked: “We have established great momentum – discovering and advancing several small molecules into clinical development that have the potential to treat immune-related diseases associated with the alternative pathway of the complement system. Having already demonstrated proof-of-concept and proof-of-mechanism with our lead candidate, danicopan (ACH-4471), in PNH and C3G, respectively, we believe there is significant opportunity for Factor D inhibition in the treatment of other diseases as well. Alexion is an established leader in developing medicines for complement-mediated diseases, and we look forward to working together to accelerate our objective of bringing novel therapies to patients as quickly as possible and ensuring that the broad promise of this approach is fully realised. We thank our employees, investigators and partners for their incredible work and commitment.”

According to the two companies, the deal is expected to close in the first half of next year.

Matt Fellows

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