“Biogen’s $6.5 Billion Acquisition of Reata Pharmaceuticals Marks a Milestone for Rare Disease Treatments”
July 28 – Biogen (BIIB.O), a renowned biotechnology firm, has made a groundbreaking move to acquire rare disease drugmaker Reata Pharmaceuticals (RETA.O) for an impressive $6.5 billion. This strategic acquisition, led by new CEO Christopher Viehbacher, aims to propel Biogen towards a path of growth and innovation.
Christopher Viehbacher’s appointment as CEO in November was a crucial step in reviving Biogen’s growth trajectory. The company faced challenges, including setbacks related to the Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm, while also competing intensely in the market for its top-selling drugs.
As part of the acquisition, Biogen will gain access to Reata’s recently approved drug, Skyclarys, designed to treat a rare genetic disorder that causes progressive nervous system damage. This addition to Biogen’s portfolio represents a significant milestone in addressing unmet medical needs.
According to a statement by Christopher Viehbacher, Biogen is committed to expediting the global delivery of Skyclarys to patients, showcasing confidence in the company’s capabilities to impact patient lives positively.
Biogen’s portfolio already includes Spinraza, a treatment for the rare muscle-wasting disorder spinal muscular atrophy, and a rare type of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The acquisition of Reata Pharmaceuticals complements Biogen’s existing presence in rare neurological disease treatments and is seen as a cost-effective move, as stated by BMO analyst Evan Seigerman.
Anticipating growth, Biogen is also preparing for the launch of a new Alzheimer’s drug, Leqembi, in collaboration with partner Eisai (4523.T). However, expenses related to the launch may affect sales projections for this year.
Biogen’s strategic approach includes expanding its portfolio through deals in rare diseases and immunology, focusing on drugs that boost near-term growth. Reata’s Skyclarys, the first approved treatment for Friedreich’s ataxia, a condition affecting about one in every 50,000 people in the United States, aligns well with this vision.
The acquisition deal is valued at $172.50 per share in cash, representing a remarkable 58.9% premium over Reata’s last closing price. With Reata’s shares surging and Biogen’s shares showing promise in premarket trading, the deal’s value, including debt, stands at an estimated $7.3 billion.
Biogen’s strategic acquisition of Reata Pharmaceuticals heralds a new era for rare disease treatments, driving the company towards growth and innovation. This transformative move is set to bring hope and relief to patients battling these challenging medical conditions.