Alexion To Acquire Wilson Therapeutics for $855 Million

By Akia Thorpe -

April 12, 2018

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, a New Haven, Connecticut-based pharmaceutical company, has agreed to acquire Wilson Therapeutics, a Stockholm, Sweden-headquartered biopharmaceutical company that develops therapies for patients with rare copper-mediated disorders, for $855 million.

Wilson Therapeutics’ lead product, WTX101, is in Phase III development as a treatment for Wilson disease, a rare genetic disorder with hepatic and neurological consequences for patients. WTX101 is a first-in-class oral copper-binding agent with an ability to access and bind copper from serum and promote its removal from the liver. WTX101 has received fast track designation in the US and orphan drug designation for treating Wilson disease in the US and European Union.

Alexion focuses its development efforts on the core therapeutic areas of hematology, nephrology, neurology, and metabolic disorders. “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,” said Ludwig Hantson, Chief Executive Officer of Alexion, in an April 11, 2018 company statement.

Alexion, through a wholly owned subsidiary, has offered SEK 232 ($27.52) in cash for each outstanding share of Wilson Therapeutics. The total equity value of the transaction amounts to SEK 7,100 million, based on outstanding shares on a fully diluted basis, or approximately $855 million. The Independent Committee of the Board of Directors of Wilson Therapeutics has unanimously recommended Wilson Therapeutics’ shareholders accept the offer, and Alexion’s Board of Directors also unanimously approved the offer. Alexion has obtained shareholder support agreements from the four largest shareholders accounting for 57.4% of Wilson Therapeutics’ outstanding shares and two additional shareholders accounting for 8.7% for a total of 66.1% of Wilson Therapeutics’ outstanding shares, to the effect that these shareholders have undertaken to accept the offer on certain terms. In addition, Polar Capital, holding 7.3% of Wilson Therapeutics’ outstanding shares, has expressed its support for, and intends to accept, the offer, for a total support of 73.4%, according to the companies. The acquisition of Wilson Therapeutics requires approval of relevant regulatory authorities, and Alexion expects to obtain such approvals prior to the end of the acceptance period.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018.

Source: Alexion Therapeutics