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UCB and Zogenix have agreed to an acquisition deal totaling nearly $2 billion.
UCB announced on Jan. 19, 2022, that it had entered into an agreement to acquire Zogenix, a biopharmaceutical company specializing in therapies for rare diseases, for approximately $1.9 billion. Zogenix is known for its drug Fintepla (fenfluramine), an oral solution currently approved by both FDA and the European Medicines Agency to treat seizures associated with Dravet syndrome in patients two or older.
Dravet syndrome is a rare form of epilepsy that generally begins in infancy and is marked by frequent, treatment-resistant seizures, significant developmental, motor, and behavioral impairments, and an increased risk of sudden unexpected death as a result of epilepsy. According to a company press release, the condition appears in approximately 1 in 15,700 live births in the United States and 1 in 20,000 to 40,000 live births in Europe.
"The proposed acquisition of Zogenix reinforces UCB's sustainable patient value strategy and continued commitment to addressing unmet needs of people living with epilepsy with an increasing focus on those living with specific or rare forms of epilepsy, where few options exist,” said Charl van Zyl, executive vice-president, Neurology, and head of Europe/International Markets, UCB, in the press release. “Complementing UCB's existing therapeutic offerings, the Zogenix acquisition provides UCB with an approved medicine for a life-threatening, rare infant- and childhood-onset epilepsy marked by frequent and severe treatment-resistant seizures, that are particularly challenging to treat.”
In addition to its current approvals, fenfluramine is currently under regulatory review in Japan for treatment of seizures associated with Dravet Syndrome. Zogenix is currently pursuing indications for the use of fenfluramine in additional rare types of epilepsy, including Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder.