Alexion diversifies portfolio with $1.4bn Portola acquisition

Alexion, a Boston, Massachusetts pharmaceutical company, is expanding its haematology, neurology and critical care commercial portfolio with the $1.4 billion acquisition of San Fran biotech Portola Pharmaceuticals.

Portola’s commercialised medicine, Andexxa – marketed as Ondexxya in Europe – is the first and only approved Factor Xa inhibitor reversal agent and has demonstrated transformative clinical value by rapidly reversing the anticoagulant effects of Factor Xa inhibitors rivaroxaban and apixaban in severe and uncontrolled bleeding.

The acquisition will add near-term diversification to Alexion’s commercial portfolio and provides the opportunity to apply the company’s demonstrated global commercial excellence to create long-term value for patients and shareholders.

The merger agreement has been unanimously approved by the boards of Alexion and Portola.

“The acquisition of Portola represents an important next step in our strategy to diversify beyond C5,” said Ludwig Hantson, CEO of Alexion.

“Andexxa is a strategic fit with our existing portfolio of transformative medicines and is well-aligned with our demonstrated expertise in haematology, neurology and critical care.

“We believe Andexxa has the potential to become the global standard of care for patients who experience life-threatening bleeds while taking Factor Xa inhibitors apixaban and rivaroxaban.

“By leveraging Alexion’s strong operational and sales infrastructure and deep relationships in hospital channels, we are well positioned to expand the number of patients helped by Andexxa, while also driving value for shareholders.”

A subsidiary of Alexion will commence a tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Portola’s common stock at a price of $18 per share in cash.

The tender offer is subject to customary conditions, including the tender of a majority of the outstanding shares of Portola common stock, the expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 and receipt of certain other regulatory approvals.

Following successful completion of the tender offer, Alexion will acquire all remaining shares not tendered in the offer at the same price of $18 per share through a merger.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2020.

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