Horizon Therapeutics to Acquire Viela Bio for $3 Billion

BioPharm International Editors

The deal, which is set to close by the end of the first quarter of 2021, will provide Horizon with access to Viela’s rare disease medicine portfolio.

Horizon Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company located in Ireland, announced on Feb. 1, 2021 that it will acquire Viela Bio, a US-based biotechnology company, for $3 billion.

Under the terms of the agreement, Horizon will acquire all shares of Viela Bio’s common stock at a price of $53 per share and, following the completion of the deal, Horizon will acquire all remaining shares not tendered in the offer, Horizon said in a company press release. The transaction is set to close by the end of the first quarter of 2021.

Horizon will now have access to Viela’s rare disease medicine portfolio which includes:

  • Uplizna (inebilizumab-cdon)—the first and only FDA-approved B-cell-depleting humanized monoclonal antibody (mAb) for the treatment of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), an autoimmune disease that attacks the optic nerve, spinal cord, and brain stem.
  • VIB4920—an investigational fusion protein aimed at blocking a key co-stimulatory pathway involved in many autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
  • VIB7734—an investigational human mAb designed to reduce plasmacytoid dendritic cells, a cell type that is involved in the development of multiple autoimmune diseases.
  • VIB1116—mAb for autoimmune diseases.

“This acquisition represents a significant step forward in advancing our strategy—to expand our pipeline in order to accelerate our growth over the long term,” said Tim Walbert, chairman, president, and CEO, Horizon, in the press release. “Adding Viela’s research and clinical development capabilities along with its deep, mid-stage biologics pipeline to our seasoned R&D and commercial teams, advances our transformation to an innovation-driven biotech company where we will build on the success of TEPEZZA and KRYSTEXXA to bolster our long-term growth trajectory. We intend to maximize the full potential of Viela’s pipeline, including the pursuit of additional future indications.”

“We are pleased that Horizon recognizes the value of our robust R&D pipeline, our commercial medicine [Uplizna], which is an important treatment option for patients with NMOSD, and our talented team,” added Bing Yao, PhD, chairman and CEO, Viela Bio, in the press release. “We believe that the combined pipeline, including the pursuit of additional potential indications, has the potential to yield innovative new medicines to treat autoimmune and severe inflammatory diseases. Our collective R&D expertise coupled with Horizon’s commercial capabilities, has the potential to provide benefit to more patients with high unmet treatment needs.”

Source: Horizon