Published On: Wed, May 6th, 2020

Alexion Pharmaceuticals to acquire Portola Pharmaceuticals for $1.4bn

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Alexion acquisition of Portola : has agreed to acquire Portola Pharmaceuticals, a commercial-stage biopharma company focused on life-threatening blood-related disorders, for $1.41 billion.

Portola Pharmaceuticals developed Andexxa [coagulation factor Xa (recombinant), inactivated-zhzo], which is marketed as Ondexxya in Europe. The drug is the first and only approved Factor Xa inhibitor reversal agent, and is said to have shown transformative clinical value by quickly reversing the anticoagulant effects of Factor Xa inhibitors rivaroxaban and apixaban in severe and uncontrolled bleeding.

Portola Pharmaceuticals, which was established in 2003, is engaged in discovery, development, and commercialization of novel therapeutics that could advance the fields of thrombosis and other hematologic conditions significantly. The company has commercialized another product called Bevyxxa (betrixaban), which is approved in the US for venous thrombosis prevention in adults.

The biopharma company is also advancing cerdulatinib, a SYK/JAK inhibitor for the treatment of hematologic cancers.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals said that the acquisition of the California-based biotech company will add near-term diversification to its commercial portfolio while giving scope to apply its commercial expertise to generate long-term value for and shareholders.

Alexion acquisition of Portola

Alexion acquisition of Portola. Image credit: Arek Socha from Pixabay.

Ludwig Hantson – CEO of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, commenting on Alexion acquisition of Portola, said: “The acquisition of Portola represents an important next step in our strategy to diversify beyond C5. Andexxa is a strategic fit with our existing portfolio of transformative medicines and is well-aligned with our demonstrated expertise in , neurology and critical care.

“We believe Andexxa has the potential to become the global standard of care for patients who experience life-threatening bleeds while taking Factor Xa inhibitors apixaban and rivaroxaban.

“By leveraging Alexion’s strong operational and sales infrastructure and deep relationships in hospital channels, we are well positioned to expand the number of patients helped by Andexxa, while also driving value for shareholders.”

As per the terms of the merger agreement, a subsidiary of Alexion Pharmaceuticals will launch a tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Portola Pharmaceuticals at $18 per share in cash. The deal is likely to be wrapped up in Q3 2020.

Commenting on Alexion acquisition of Portola, Scott Garland – President and CEO of Portola Pharmaceuticals, said: “In developing and launching Andexxa, Portola has established a strong foundation for changing the standard of care for patients receiving Factor Xa inhibitors that experience a major, life-threatening bleed. Andexxa rapidly reverses the pharmacologic effect of rivaroxaban and apixaban within two minutes, reducing anti-Factor Xa activity by 92 percent.

“Given their enhanced resources, global footprint and proven commercial expertise, we look forward to working with Alexion to maximize the value of Andexxa. With their commitment to commercial excellence, together, we will be able to drive stronger utilization of Andexxa, increase penetration and accelerate adoption in the critical care setting.”

For Alexion Pharmaceuticals, the financial advisor for the transaction is . On the other hand, Centerview Partners is the financial advisor of Portola Pharmaceuticals, while Cooley is its legal advisor.

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