Sobi to acquire Synagis US rights from AstraZeneca

Synagis, the only approved respiratory syncytial virus prophylaxis for high-risk infants, complements Sobi’s expertise in paediatrics and immunology

Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB (Sobi) has entered into agreements to acquire the perpetual rights to Synagis (palivizumab) in the US from AstraZeneca and to participate in 50% of the future earnings of the candidate drug MEDI8897 in the US.

The total upfront consideration corresponds to US$1,500m, consisting of US$1,000m in cash and US$500m equivalent in newly issued Sobi shares. In addition, deferred and contingent payments depending on certain conditions may be payable, in amounts as further set out below.

Highlights:

  • Diversifies Sobi’s revenue base in Specialty Care – Immunology; Synagis, the only approved respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) prophylaxis for high-risk infants, complements Sobi’s expertise in paediatrics and immunology. Synagis bolsters the importance of Sobi's Immunology franchise (to consist of Kineret, emapalumab and Synagis), and Immunology will constitute the majority share of total Specialty Care sales
  • Accelerates build-up of US commercial platform; The acquisition of Synagis is expected to more than double both the revenue and size of Sobi’s US organisation, enhancing the financial contribution of the US to Sobi’s overall revenues to approximately one third. Access to a proven US sales & marketing organisation will establish a critical scale to drive sustainable growth in the US
  • Enhances financial capacity; Significant top line addition will give Sobi substantial recurring earnings to further advance the US expansion and enable future strategic acquisitions over the mid-term, positioning the company well for its next phase of growth. Sobi expects the product to generate an EBITA margin in excess of 60% and that the transaction will be accretive to earnings per share in 2019

The addition of Synagis will become an important strategic catalyst for Sobi’s future development and will form a powerful platform for growth in rare diseases

Synagis is a medicine for the prevention of serious lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI) caused by RSV in high-risk infants and is the only approved preventative medicine for the condition. Synagis is an attractive product for Sobi due to its orphan-sized paediatric patient population and immunology profile. Sobi will be responsible for the commercialisation of Synagis in the US. MEDI8897 is a follow-on candidate to Synagis and a monoclonal antibody (mAb) being investigated for the prevention of LRTI caused by RSV in a larger patient population.

“I am excited about adding Synagis to our portfolio as it remains the only product preventing RSV infection in this vulnerable patient group with a great medical need. The addition of Synagis will become an important strategic catalyst for Sobi’s future development and will form a powerful platform for growth in rare diseases. We see the acquisition as a stepping stone to drive sustainable growth in the US and make Sobi more attractive for partnering. It also increases the overall Specialty Care franchise and diversifies our portfolio in Immunology. The expected earnings of this acquisition will increase the financial flexibility to support further growth initiatives”, comments Sobi President and CEO Guido Oelkers.

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