Drug Research
Drug Discovery & Development

Alexion to acquire Wilson Therapeutics for $855m

PBR Staff Writer Published 12 April 2018

Alexion Pharmaceuticals has agreed to acquire Wilson Therapeutics, a Sweden-based company that develops therapies for rare copper-mediated disorders, for SEK7.1bn ($855m).

As per the terms of the all-cash deal, US-based Alexion via a subsidiary will pay SEK232 ($27.84) for each share of Wilson Therapeutics.

The Swedish company is developing a drug named WTX101 for the treatment of Wilson disease, which is currently in phase 3 stage. Wilson disease is a rare genetic disorder that can lead to excessive content of copper to accumulate in organs.

Patients with the genetic disease tend to experience devastating hepatic and neurological consequences for patients.

WTX101 is an oral copper-binding agent which can access and bind copper from serum and help in removing the element from the liver.

The potential Wilson disease drug has been given a fast track designation in the US. It also has orphan drug designation for the treatment of Wilson disease in both the US and the European Union.

Alexion CEO Ludwig Hantson said: “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.

“The acquisition of Wilson Therapeutics is a strong strategic fit for Alexion given 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.”

The independent committee of the board of directors at Wilson Therapeutics has unanimously recommended the company’s shareholders to accept the offer from Alexion. In its opinion, the combination of the two firms will create substantial and near-term value to the shareholders and help in bringing WTX101 to Wilson Disease patients globally.

Wilson Therapeutics CEO Jonas Hansson said: “Alexion is a global leader in rare diseases with a proven record of developing and commercializing therapies for patients with rare diseases, making them a great partner to make WTX101 available to Wilson disease patients worldwide.”

Subject to regulatory approvals and other conditions, the acquisition is expected to be completed in the second quarter of this year.

Image: Alexion to acquire Wilson Therapeutics in an all-cash deal. Photo: courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.