Alexion Pharmaceuticals acquires Taligen Therapeutics for $111 million
01-31-2011
by Jeffrey Bouley  |  Email the author

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CHESHIRE, Conn.Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. has acquired Taligen Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held development-stage biotechnology company based in Cambridge, Mass., in a move that broadens Alexion's portfolio of product candidates and expands its capabilities in translational medicine by bringing additional accomplished researchers to the company.
 
The acquisition was completed with an upfront cash payment of $111 million for 100 percent of Taligen's equity interests. Additional contingent payments would be earned upon reaching various clinical efficacy and product approval milestones in both the US and European Union for up to six products. 
 
With the acquisition Alexion is said to gain promising preclinical compounds, including potential treatments for patients with ophthalmic diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), as well as other novel antibody and protein regulators of the complement inflammatory pathways.

"Taligen's talented scientists and impressive technology will enhance Alexion's world-class staff and breakthrough research and development programs, substantially increasing our ability to develop first-in-class therapies for patients with severe diseases," says Dr. Leonard Bell, CEO of Alexion. "As product development opportunities continue to expand, we look forward to increasing the quality, speed, and throughput of our combined current and future development programs for the benefit of patients worldwide."
 
Taligen's scientific staff will form the nucleus of Alexion's new Cambridge Massachusetts-based Translational Medicine Group, headed by Dr. Abbie Celniker, former CEO of Taligen and now head of translational medicine at Alexion, reporting to Dr. Stephen Squinto, executive vice president and head of research and development at Alexion.
 
"Alexion has proven how highly innovative science can result in life-transforming therapies for patients with debilitating disorders," said Celniker. "We are excited to be combining our research and development capabilities with Alexion's global team with the goal of accelerating the investigation of novel molecules from our combined portfolios and developing additional first-in-class compounds."
 
Alexion will provide 2011 financial guidance in February, including transaction-related one-time expenses. Non-GAAP Research and Development expenses for 2011 are expected to be approximately 18 percent of sales, including activities associated with Taligen's programs.
 
Alexion is engaged in the discovery, development and commercialization of therapeutic products aimed at treating patients with a wide array of severe disease states, including hematologic and kidney diseases, neurologic disorders, transplant, other inflammatory disorders, and cancer. Soliris (eculizumab), Alexion's first marketed product, is approved in more than 35 countries as a therapy for patients with PNH, a debilitating and ultra-rare life-threatening blood disorder. Alexion is evaluating other potential indications for Soliris and is pursuing development of other innovative biotechnology product candidates in early stages of development.

 
Code: E01311101

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