Biogen, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) has agreed to acquire gene therapy company Nightstar Therapeutics plc (NASDAQ: NITE) for roughly $800 million in cash, according to a statement released by the company on Monday. Under the terms of the deal, Biogen will pay $25.50 in cash for each Nightstar share, representing a premium of 68% to the stock’s closing price of $15.16 on Friday.
The transaction, which is still subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to give Biogen a foothold the lucrative gene therapy market. Nightstar Therapeutics is a clinical-stage gene therapy company headquartered in London, UK. Last year, Novartis acquired AveXis for $8.7 billion and last week Roche Holding agreed to acquire Spark Therapeutics for $4.8 billion.
Nightstar Therapeutics focuses on adeno-associated virus (AAV) treatments for a rare, inherited eye disease known as choroideremia that leads to blindness. Gene therapy, typically targets diseases that are caused by a single faulty gene. They work by introducing genetic material into the faulty genes using an inactive virus, in hopes of curing or improving the diseases.
Biogen’s Chief Executive Officer Michel Vounatsos said, “With this proposed acquisition, we are continuing to bolster our pipeline and further execute on our strategy to develop and expand a multi-franchise neuroscience pipeline across complementary modalities. Nightstar would accelerate our entry into ophthalmology by contributing two mid- to late-stage gene therapy assets, with the potential to create long-term shareholder value.”
The deal does not require the approval of Biogen’s shareholders and is expected to close by mid-year 2019. Goldman, Sachs is acting as financial adviser to Biogen, while Centerview Partners is acting as financial advisor to Nightstar financial adviser.
Shares of Biogen ended Monday’s regular trading session down 2.05% to $327.26. Nasdaq-listed shares of Nightstar Therapeutics closed the session at $25.18, up $10.02, or 66.09%.
Biogen, Inc. Profile
Biogen, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company, which engages in discovering, developing, and delivering therapies for neurological and neurodegenerative diseases. It offers TECFIDERA, AVONEX, PLEGRIDY, TYSABRI, ZINBRYTA, and FAMPYRA for the treatment of multiple sclerosis; SPINRAZA for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy; and FUMADERM for the treatment of severe plaque psoriasis.
The company was founded by Charles Weissmann, Heinz Schaller, Kenneth Murray, Walter Gilbert, and Phillip Allen Sharp in 1978 and is headquartered in Cambridge, MA. – CNN Money
Nightstar Therapeutics PLC Profile
Nightstar Therapeutics PLC is a clinical-stage gene therapy company, which engages in the development and commercialization of novel one-time treatments for patients suffering from rare inherited retinal diseases.
Its pipeline includes NSR-REP1, for the treatment of choroideremia; NSR-RPGR, for the treatment of X-linked retinitis pigmentosa; and NSR-BEST1, for the treatment of vitelliform macular dystrophy. The company was founded by Robert MacLaren on July 6, 2017 and is headquartered in London, the United Kingdom. – CNN Money