Alexion Pharmaceuticals has agreed to acquire clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Achillion Pharmaceuticals in a deal valued at around $930m.
Achillion is involved in the development of oral small molecule Factor D inhibitors for the treatment of people with complement alternative pathway-mediated rare diseases such as paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) and C3 glomerulopathy (C3G).
At present, the company has two clinical-stage medicines under development, including danicopan (ACH-4471) in phase 2 study and ACH-5228 in phase 1 study.
Achillion has secured a breakthrough therapy designation for danicopan in combination with a C5 monoclonal antibody to treat patients with PNH who are sub-optimal responders to a C5 inhibitor alone.
The company intends to work with major stakeholders such as healthcare professionals, patients, regulators and payors to advance its investigational product candidates into phase 3 clinical trials and commercialisation.
Alexion CEO Dr Ludwig Hantson said: “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.”
Under the deal, Alexion will pay $6.30 per share to acquire Achillion common stock. It will also acquire the current cash on Achillion’s balance sheet, which was around $230m as of 30 September 2019.
Alexion will also pay additional consideration to Achillion shareholders in the form of non-tradeable contingent value rights (CVRs), based on the achievement of certain clinical and regulatory milestones within specified periods.
The payments include $1.00 per share for the US FDA approval of danicopan and 1.00 per share for initiation of ACH-5228 phase 3 trial.
Subject to the approval of Achillion shareholders and satisfaction of customary closing conditions and approval from relevant regulatory agencies, the deal is expected to be completed in the first half of 2020.
Achillion president and CEO Joe Truitt said: “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.”