JERUSALEM and LA JOLLA, Calif. — Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. plans to purchase Auspex Pharmaceuticals Inc. in a deal valued at $3.2 billion.
Teva said Monday that the agreement will bolster its core central nervous system (CNS) franchise with the addition of Auspex’s portfolio of medicines for people who live with movement disorders.
A biopharmaceutical company, Auspex specializes in applying deuterium chemistry to known molecules to create novel therapies with improved safety and efficacy profiles. Its lead investigational product, SD-809 (deutetrabenazine), is being developed for the potential treatment of chorea associated with Huntington’s disease, tardive dyskinesia, and Tourette syndrome, with a pharmacokinetic profile that allows for lower doses resulting in a favorable safety profile, according to Teva.
“The acquisition of Auspex is a significant step in strengthening Teva’s leadership position in CNS and advances us into underserved movement disorder markets,” stated Erez Vigodman, president and chief executive officer of Teva. “We look forward to accelerating the development and commercialization of the Auspex portfolio based on our infrastructure, capabilities and strong commercial and R&D position in CNS. As we have outlined recently, one of our key priorities for 2015 is to support Teva’s mid- to long-term growth and create value for our shareholders with business development opportunities that are closely aligned with our core therapeutic areas. This transaction represents a first major step with regards to that commitment and we expect to continue this focus in the future.”
In 2014, Auspex reported positive results from its Phase 3 clinical trial for SD-809 in Huntington’s disease, with plans to submit a New Drug Application (NDA) for that indication by mid-2015. SD-809 has been granted orphan drug designation for the treatment of Huntington’s disease by the Food and Drug Administration, and Auspex expects U.S. regulatory approval and commercial launch for that indication in 2016. Top-line results for Auspex’s Phase 3 ARM-TD study of SD-809 as a potential treatment for tardive dyskinesia, a disorder for which there are no approved therapies, are also expected in mid-2015.
“We believe that the application of Auspex’s deuterium platform to known pharmaceuticals holds great promise across a wide spectrum of neurological diseases and associated movement disorders, including Huntington’s disease, tardive dyskinesia and Tourette syndrome. Auspex’s lead candidate, SD-809, offers compelling efficacy and safety benefits to patients, as demonstrated by the impressive Phase 3 top-line data in Huntington’s disease announced in December 2014,” commented Michael Hayden, Teva’s president of global research and development and its chief scientific officer. “Teva is well-positioned to realize the robust IP potential of these investigational products with Auspex’s deuterated technology, which could represent a significant breakthrough for patients who often have no sustainable symptom relief from their disease.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Teva will commence a tender offer for all of the outstanding shares of Auspex at $101 per share in cash, representing total consideration of about $3.2 billion in enterprise value and $3.5 billion in equity value.
The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of both companies. Pending the consummation of the tender offer and other closing conditions, Teva expects the transaction to be finalized in mid-2015.