Roche forced to extend Spark tender offer as investors sue over $4.3B merger

Roche | April 03, 2019

Roche forced to extend Spark tender offer as investors sue over $4.3B merger
Roche’s $114.50-per-share offer for Spark Therapeutics represents a whopping 122% premium to the gene specialist’s closing price on the last trading day before the acquisition announcement. But some Spark investors still think the price is too low. So far, Spark investors have tendered only 29.4% of the shares outstanding, which doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the deal; Roche needs more than 50% to carry out the combo. The Swiss drugmaker said it's extending its tender offer to May 2 from the previous deadline of Wednesday. The lackluster results aren't Spark's only problem with its investors. The company faces shareholder lawsuits that call the deal price too low—a “bargain,” one suit claims—and question Spark's accounting methods and deal disclosures.

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Arrowhead Initiates Project to Build New Manufacturing and Lab Facilities

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals | December 21, 2021

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that it has completed a transaction to purchase 13 acres of land in the Verona Technology Park in Verona, WI, which is planned to be the site of an approximately 140,000 square foot drug manufacturing facility and an approximately 115,000 square foot laboratory and office facility to support process development and analytical activities. Arrowhead intends to invest between $200 million and $250 million into the buildout of the facilities. The Company expects that the new facilities will result in the creation of approximately 250 new jobs in the local area. Construction is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2022. Arrowhead will continue to operate additional research and development facilities in Madison, WI, and San Diego, CA. “For more than a decade, Arrowhead has been a dedicated member of the biotech community in the greater Madison, Wisconsin, area. We have built strong local relationships and are pleased to continue our growth with the new Arrowhead campus that will include a new GMP manufacturing facility and associated lab and office facility. This investment reaffirms our commitment to the Wisconsin biotech ecosystem, and we would like to thank the local agencies, who have been a pleasure to work with. Arrowhead’s pipeline of what we believe are industry leading investigational RNAi medicines continues to expand rapidly. The new Arrowhead campus will allow us to support our growing pipeline and positions us well to advance the manufacturing process, including at commercial scale, of our TRiM™-enabled drug candidates. We view this as a strong competitive advantage as we approach potential commercialization of our rapidly progressing clinical candidates.” Christopher Anzalone, Ph.D., Arrowhead’s president and CEO Major project team members include Eppstein Uhen Architects, DPS Group, D’Onofrio Kottke & Associates, Smocke & Associates, Cresa Madison, and Vogel Brothers Building Company. John Chapman, Vice President and Design Principal at EUA, said, “We are privileged to be collaborating again with Arrowhead on an inventive building design which will enable their employees to treat some of the most challenging diseases.” Completion of the lab and office space is anticipated in the first quarter of 2023 and completion of the manufacturing facility is expected in the fourth quarter of 2023. About Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals develops medicines that treat intractable diseases by silencing the genes that cause them. Using a broad portfolio of RNA chemistries and efficient modes of delivery, Arrowhead therapies trigger the RNA interference mechanism to induce rapid, deep, and durable knockdown of target genes. RNA interference, or RNAi, is a mechanism present in living cells that inhibits the expression of a specific gene, thereby affecting the production of a specific protein. Arrowhead’s RNAi-based therapeutics leverage this natural pathway of gene silencing.

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PHARMA TECH

CSL Limited announces tender offer to acquire Vifor Pharma Ltd

Vifor Pharma Group | December 15, 2021

Global biotechnology leader CSL Limited and Vifor Pharma Ltd, a global specialty pharmaceutical company with leadership in iron deficiency, nephrology & cardio-renal therapies, announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for CSL to acquire Vifor Pharma for an aggregate equity value for Vifor Pharma of US$ 11.7 / CHF 10.9 billion. CSL has offered to acquire Vifor Pharma in an all-cash tender offer of US$179.25 per share, payable in U.S. dollars.1 The offer assumes a dividend of CHF 2 expected to be declared at the AGM of 26 April, consistent with past practice. The tender offer represents an implied premium of approximately 61% to the unaffected closing price of Vifor Pharma on 1 December 2021 and a 47% premium to Vifor Pharma’s unaffected 1-month VWAP as of 1 December 2021.2 Patinex AG, Vifor Pharma’s largest shareholder holding 23.2% has agreed to tender its shares into the offer. The Transaction remains subject to the conditions and further terms including: Minimum acceptance rate of 80% of all Vifor Pharma shares on a fully diluted basis; and further customary offer conditions, including regulatory approvals. The tender is currently expected to commence around 18 January 2022 and the transaction is expected to complete around mid-2022. The Board of Directors of Vifor Pharma considers that the proposed transaction respects the interests of all stakeholders and is unanimously recommending the offer to shareholders. There is committed financing for the deal and a strong commitment to pursue regulatory clearances. “Vifor Pharma's strategy has been to focus towards continuing being a market leader in iron deficiency, nephrology and cardio-renal therapies. The offer provides an excellent strategic opportunity for Vifor Pharma to optimize future market opportunities from a position of strength and to create substantial value for all stakeholders.” Jacques Theurillat, Chairman of the Board of Directors Vifor Pharma Group The transaction will enable Vifor Pharma to leverage CSL’s global reach, balance sheet and capabilities to bring more products to patients within its key categories. The transaction also enables Vifor Pharma to accelerate growth in cardiovascular-metabolic, renal and transplant. Centerview Partners UK LLP is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Vifor Pharma on the transaction. IFBC have been retained as Fairness Opinion providers by the Vifor Pharma Board of Directors. About Vifor Pharma Group Vifor Pharma Group is a global pharmaceuticals company. It aims to become the global leader in iron deficiency, nephrology and cardio-renal therapies. The company is a partner of choice for pharmaceuticals and innovative patient-focused solutions. Vifor Pharma Group strives to help patients around the world with severe and chronic diseases lead better, healthier lives. The company develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products for precision patient care. Vifor Pharma Group holds a leading position in all its core business activities and consists of the following companies: Vifor Pharma and Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma Vifor Pharma Group is headquartered in Switzerland, and listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange About CSL CSL is a leading global biotechnology company with a dynamic portfolio of life-saving medicines, including those that treat hemophilia and immune deficiencies, as well as vaccines to prevent influenza. Since our start in 1916, we have been driven by our promise to save lives using the latest technologies. Today, CSL — including our two businesses, CSL Behring and Seqirus- provides life-saving products to more than 100 countries and employs more than 25,000 people. Our unique combination of commercial strength, R&D focus and operational excellence enables us to identify, develop and deliver innovations so our patients can live life to the fullest.

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n-Lorem Foundation Partners with Alnylam to Expand Technology Access to RNAi Therapeutics for Patients with Nano-rare Diseases

n-Lorem a nonprofit Foundation | January 20, 2022

n-Lorem, a nonprofit Foundation, discovering and providing experimental antisense oligonucleotide medicines to nano-rare disease patients for free, for life, today announced a new partnership with Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. “Discovering, developing and providing individualized medicines for nano-rare patients is a monumental task. At n-Lorem, using ASO technology, we take advantage of three decades of experience, unparalleled quality control and integrated safety databases that are used to select frequency and dosage for each individual ASO therapy. As we expand our highly selective and versatile model to other amendable technologies, it is important for us to maintain a high level of quality,” said Stanley T. Crooke, M.D., Ph.D., Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, n-Lorem Foundation. “Alnylam’s RNAi therapeutic technology is the perfect complement to Ionis’ ASO technology, both are well understood, proven drug discovery technologies. Adding Alnylam as a partner is another step in the creation of a broad network of partner stakeholders committed to treating nano-rare patients.” “We are pleased to partner with the n-Lorem Foundation in identifying opportunities to bring our novel RNAi technology platform to potentially help patients with nano-rare diseases. At Alnylam, we are committed to identifying pathways to expand access to our medicines and we applaud the work of the foundation in bringing together industry partners who are driven to provide options for patients that have little or no options for treatment,” Akshay Vaishnaw, M.D., Ph.D., President at Alnylam “Although we have the tools and expertise to understand nano-rare patients at a genetic level, the extreme rarity of these patients present insurmountable challenges to the current healthcare systems,” said Dr. Sarah Glass, Chief Development Officer, n-Lorem Foundation. “n-Lorem is addressing these challenges one nano-rare patient at a time and is supported through a consortium of well-renowned and diverse organizations worldwide. These include our biotechnology and pharmaceutical partners, including Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Biogen, Ultragenyx and today Alnylam; our clinical research partners, including Charles River Labs, Korea Institute of Toxicology and Parexel; our contract manufacturing partners, including ChemGenes, Cytiva and Nitto Avecia; and many other collaborations that make n-Lorem’s mission possible.” Alnylam is leading the translation of RNA interference into a whole new class of innovative medicines with the potential to transform the lives of people afflicted with rare genetic, cardio-metabolic, hepatic infectious, and central nervous system ocular diseases. Based on Nobel Prize-winning science, RNAi therapeutics represent a powerful, clinically validated approach for the treatment of a wide range of severe and debilitating diseases. Founded in 2002, Alnylam is delivering on a bold vision to turn scientific possibility into reality, with a robust RNAi therapeutics platform. Alnylam’s commercial RNAi therapeutic products are ONPATTRO®, GIVLAARI® (givosiran), and OXLUMO®, as well as Leqvio®, which is being developed and commercialized by Alnylam’s partner Novartis. Alnylam has a deep pipeline of investigational medicines, including six product candidates that are in late-stage development. Alnylam is executing on its “Alnylam P5x25” strategy to deliver transformative medicines in both rare and common diseases benefiting patients around the world through sustainable innovation and exceptional financial performance, resulting in a leading biotech profile. Alnylam is headquartered in Cambridge, MA. About n-Lorem n-Lorem Foundation is a non-profit organization established to apply the efficiency, versatility and specificity of antisense technology to charitably provide experimental antisense oligonucleotide medicines to treat nano-rare patients diagnosed with diseases that are the result of a single genetic defect unique to only one or very few individuals. Nano-rare patients describe a very small group of patients who, because of their small numbers, have few if any treatment options. n-Lorem Foundation was created to provide hope to these nano-rare patients by developing individualized ASO medicines, which are short strands of modified DNA that can specifically target the transcripts of a defective gene to correct the abnormality. The advantage of experimental ASO medicines is that they can be developed rapidly, inexpensively and are highly specific. To date, n-Lorem has assisted in the development and treatment of 14 nano-rare patients and received over 100 applications for treatment with more than 40 nano-rare patients approved. n-Lorem was founded by Stanley T. Crooke, M.D., Ph.D., former chairman and CEO of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, who founded Ionis Pharmaceuticals in 1989 and, through his vision and leadership, established the company as the leader in RNA-targeted therapeutics.

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Treatment to Expand Global Library of Medicine with Dermatologic Diseases

Treatment.com International Inc. | January 05, 2022

Treatment.com International Inc. a healthcare AI technology company, has entered into a research project agreement with the University of Minnesota to add more than 220 dermatologic diseases to their proprietary, responsive AI engine known as the Global Library of Medicine (GLM). The addition of these diagnoses will bring another level of accuracy and specificity to the GLM, enhancing soon-to-be-released products such as the Treatment Mobile app, which is set for release this month. Kevin A. Peterson, MD, MPH, FRCS(Ed), FAAFP and Chief Medical Officer of Treatment, says, “Engaging in research with the University of Minnesota Dermatology department brings extensive academic medical expertise that enhances our ability to provide richly detailed descriptions of dermatologic concerns. The rich experience of the University of Minnesota Medical School will help the GLM provide more accurate descriptions of complex presentations of skin diseases. Combining our advanced AI infrastructure with the rich clinical and research expertise of the Medical School will substantially enhance our AI platform’s ability to provide better access to high quality information and directly supports the mission of the GLM to enhance health outcomes for individuals around the world.” “We are proud that the University of Minnesota is participating with us on this latest research project, which is in addition to other mutually beneficial agreements we’ve entered into with the University. The Global Library of Medicine is one way we are realizing Treatment’s plan to provide the most accurate and reliable data about health concerns, made available to clinicians, organizations, and patients alike.” John Fraser, Treatment’s CEO The Global Library of Medicine is the foundation of Treatment’s Clinical solutions, which offer unique ways to bring healthcare into the digital age by providing better access to up-to-the-minute healthcare information and promoting better health outcomes around the world. Treatment Mobile and the intelligent digital assistant will be released in select North American clinics in 2022. About Treatment.com Treatment.com is a disruptive healthcare technology company that is harnessing the power of AI to help global citizens improve their health through personalized recommendations and insights. Based in Vancouver with a US subsidiary, the company spent the last five years working with a team of world-class doctors, engineers, mathematicians, and AI specialists to develop a complex AI engine that leverages the most robust, personalized data to generate highly predictive and accurate insights. Treatment.com is the parent company of Treatment Mobile, and an intelligent digital health assistant which will empower people to take control of their health through an innovative mobile app, powered by Treatment’s exclusive AI engine.

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Anti-vaxxers are a growing minority in Malaysia and serious infectious diseases are on the rise. Is making vaccinations mandatory the answer?

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