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Portola Pharmaceuticals to merge with Alexion in $1.41bn cash deal

Published on 06/05/20 at 11:36am

Alexion has announced it is to acquire Boston-based blood disorder specialist Portola Pharmaceuticals in a transaction to the value of $1.41 billion in cash.

The merger will boost Alexion’s haematology portfolio, particularly with the acquisition of Portola’s Andexxa, marketed under the name Ondexxya in Europe – the only Factor Xa inhibitor reversal agent so far authorised for use by the FDA.

“In developing and launching Andexxa, Portola has established a strong foundation for changing the standard of care for patients receiving Factor Xa inhibitors that experience a major, life-threatening bleed. Andexxa rapidly reverses the pharmacologic effect of rivaroxaban and apixaban within two minutes, reducing anti-Factor Xa activity by 92%,” explained Scott Garland, President and Chief Executive Officer of Portola. “Given their enhanced resources, global footprint and proven commercial expertise, we look forward to working with Alexion to maximise the value of Andexxa.”

The deal means that Alexion will pick up all of Portola’s outstanding shares for $18 each in cash, and will also be eligible to receive the approximately $215 million currently on the latter’s balance sheet.

While the move has been authorised by the boards of both companies, the transaction is still subject to the tender of a majority of Portola’s outstanding shares of common stock and the receipt of regulatory approvals. With this in mind, both parties expect the deal to close in the third quarter of this year.

 “The acquisition of Portola represents an important next step in our strategy to diversify beyond C5. Andexxa is a strategic fit with our existing portfolio of transformative medicines and is well-aligned with our demonstrated expertise in haematology, neurology and critical care,” said Dr Ludwig Hantson, Chief Executive Officer of Alexion. “We believe Andexxa has the potential to become the global standard of care for patients who experience life-threatening bleeds while taking Factor Xa inhibitors apixaban and rivaroxaban. By leveraging Alexion’s strong operational and sales infrastructure and deep relationships in hospital channels, we are well positioned to expand the number of patients helped by Andexxa, while also driving value for shareholders.”

Matt Fellows

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