Teva to purchase Auspex for US$3.5bn

Reinforces leadership position in CNS

Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is to offer US$3.5bn to buy US biopharmaceutical company Auspex Pharmaceuticals and strengthen its core central nervous system (CNS) franchise with the addition of Auspex’s portfolio of medicines for movement disorders.

Teva will offer $101 per share in cash.

The Boards of Directors of both companies have approved the deal, which is expected to close by the middle of this year.

Auspex specialises in applying deuterium chemistry to known molecules to create novel therapies for neurology disorders. Its main product, SD-809 (deutetrabenazine), is being developed for the potential treatment of chorea associated with Huntington’s disease, tardive dyskinesia, and Tourette syndrome.

In 2014, Auspex reported positive results from its Phase III clinical trial for SD-809 in Huntington’s disease, with plans to submit a New Drug Application (NDA) for this indication by the middle of this year. Topline results for Auspex’s Phase III ARM-TD study of SD-809 as a potential treatment for tardive dyskinesia, a disorder for which there are no approved therapies, are also expected in June.

SD-809 has been granted orphan drug designation for the treatment of Huntington's disease by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Auspex expects regulatory approval and commercial launch for this indication in 2016 in the US.

Other pipeline candidates include deuterated versions of pirfenidone for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and levodopa for Parkinson’s disease. Auspex has an additional 60 molecules in its patent portfolio.

Erez Vigodman, President and CEO of Teva, said the acquisition of Auspex is a 'significant step in strengthening Teva’s leadership position in CNS and advances us into underserved movement disorder markets'.

He added: 'As we have outlined recently, one of our key priorities for 2015 is to support Teva’s mid to long-term growth and create value for our shareholders with business development opportunities that are closely aligned with our core therapeutic areas. This transaction represents a first major step with regards to that commitment and we expect to continue this focus in the future.'

Teva expects the transaction to begin contributing to revenues in 2016 with the anticipated launch of SD-809 for Huntington’s disease.

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