IgorGolovniov /
28 November 2019Big PharmaRory O'Neill

Asahi Kasei in $1.3bn Veloxis acquisition

Japanese pharmaceutical conglomerate  Asahi Kasei has announced it will acquire Danish company  Veloxis Pharmaceuticals for $1.3 billion.

Asahi said the Danish company’s product portfolio, including  Envarsus XR (tacrolimus), was central to its decision to go ahead with the purchase.

Envarsus XR is an immunosuppressive drug administered daily to help prevent organ rejection in kidney transplant recipients.

According to Asahi, Veloxis’ patented (US number 10,485,793) once-daily method of delivering the drug helped fulfill “unmet medical needs”.

The purchase forms part of Asahi’s strategy to establish a foothold in the US pharmaceutical market.

Another key objective of the deal, said Asahi, was to allow the Japanese company to enhance its drug licensing activity.

The deal would strengthen Asahi’s position by allowing it to leverage its Japanese and Asian business alongside Veloxis’ presence in the US market, the company said.

The proposal will see each public Veloxis shareholder offered DKK6 ($0.88) per share. Closure of the deal is subject to antitrust clearances.

Earlier this week, Asahi announced an exclusive licensing deal with US company  Woolsey Pharmaceuticals.

Under the terms of the deal, Woolsey will gain exclusive rights to develop and commercialise fasudil hydrochloride hydrate, a Rho-kinase inhibitor.

An injectable formulation of the treatment is already available in China and Japan. Asahi said it hoped the deal would see fasudil hydrochloride become more widely available around the world.

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