UCB to Acquire Ra Pharmaceuticals for $2.1 Billion

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The transaction is set to be completed at the end of the first quarter of 2020.

UCB, a Brussels, Belgium-based biopharmaceutical company focused on innovative medicines and solutions, announced it will acquire Ra Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage rare disease therapy-focused biopharmaceutical company in Cambridge, MA, for $2.1 billion. 

Through the transaction, UCB will have access to RA Pharmaceuticals’s Phase III product candidate, zilucoplan, a once-daily self-administered, subcutaneous peptide inhibitor of C5 for treatment of patients with generalized myasthenia gravis, a chronic auto-immune condition in which auto-antibodies attack specific proteins in the neuro-muscular junction, according to an Oct. 10, 2019 press release. UCB will also have the potential to offer new treatment options for neurology and immunology diseases through the combined company portfolios. 

“Ra Pharma is an excellent strategic fit addressing multiple areas of UCB’s patient value growth strategy,” said Jean-Christophe Tellier, CEO, UCB, in the press release. “Upon closing, the acquisition will add to our strong internal growth opportunities-six potential product launches in the next five years, strengthening our neurology and immunology franchises with late and early-stage pipeline projects. In addition, the combination will provide us with the opportunity to become a leader in treating people living with myasthenia gravis, an auto-antibody mediated neurological orphan disease with high unmet medical need, as well as adding a highly productive technology platform to our innovation engine.”

“UCB shares our commitment to the rare disease patient community and our goal of developing novel, accessible, and cost-effective therapies in the areas of immunology and neurology,” added Doug Treco, PhD, president and CEO of Ra Pharmaceuticals, in the press release. I firmly believe it is the right partner for us to advance new treatment options from our unique early and late stage pipeline to patients. Ra Pharma’s technology platform is an ideal addition to UCB’s leading innovation capabilities, and our scientists are looking forward to working with the entire team at UCB.”


The transaction is set to be completed at the end of the first quarter of 2020. 

Source: UCB