Monday, September 9, 2013

Otsuka to acquire Astex Pharmaceuticals for $886m

Otsuka Holdings will buy Astex for a total of around $886m at $8.50/share, a 27% premium to the 3 September closing price. The acquisition allows Otsuka to: 1) strengthen its drug-discovery research using Astex’ fragment-based drug discovery technology; 2) expand its development pipeline, including five anticancer compounds; and 3) receive royalty revenues for Dacogen to treat myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myelocytic leukemia (AML).  Astex reported FY12/12 sales of $83m, an operating loss of $7m, and R&D spending of $60m


Dacogen is marketed by Eisai in North America and by Janssen of the Johnson & Johnson Group in other regions. A generic version of Dacogen was launched in the US in July, so we expect royalty revenues to decline and do not expect a profit contribution over the near term.

The Astex oncology development pipeline includes SGI-110 (MDS, AML, ovarian cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma), AT13387 (gastrointestinal stromal tumor, prostate cancer, non-small cell lung cancer), and AT9283 (multiple myeloma, AML) at phase II clinical development. The pipeline also includes four other compounds from alliances with AstraZeneca, Novartis, and Janssen. SGI-110 is a Dacogen prodrug that is expected to start phase III studies for MDS/AML in 2014.



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