$ALXN Bets $8.4 Billion on Synageva in Rare-Disease Push


Alexion Bets $8.4 Billion on Synageva in Rare-Disease Push

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc., a U.S. biopharmaceutical company, agreed to buy Synageva BioPharma Corp. for $8.4 billion in cash and stock to expand in the field of rare-disease treatments.

The transaction values Lexington, Massachusetts-based Synageva at $230 a share, based on Alexion’s average closing price for the past nine days, the companies said in a statement. That’s 140 percent more than Synageva’s closing price of $95.87 on Tuesday.

Alexion developed a medicine called Soliris, which garnered sales of $2 billion last year, for patients with two rare but life-threatening disorders. The drug is used for a blood ailment known as atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can cause kidney failure. Synageva has similar drugs in development, including a medicine called Kanuma for the organ-damaging condition known as LAL deficiency, which would boost Alexion’s reach in rare diseases.

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“Synageva is an ideal strategic and operational fit for Alexion that aligns with what we know well and do well — providing life-transforming therapies to an increasing number of patients with devastating and rare diseases,” David Hallal, Chief Executive Officer of Alexion, said in the statement.

Alexion is offering $115 in cash and 0.6581 Alexion shares for each share of Synageva, the Cheshire, Connecticut-based company said in the statement. The two companies’ boards backed the transaction and it is expected to be completed by mid-2015.

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Lazard Ltd. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are financial advisers to Alexion, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is serving as legal counsel. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is advising Synageva, and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and Ropes & Gray LLP are serving as legal counsel.

Alexion fell 5 percent to $160.05 at 7:29 a.m. New York time. Synageva more than doubled to $219.50.

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