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14 October 2019Big PharmaSaman Javed

UCB to acquire Ra Pharmaceuticals in $2bn deal

Belgium head-quartered pharmaceutical company  UCB is to acquire  Ra Pharmaceuticals for approximately $2.1 billion.

Under the terms of the agreement,  announced October 10, Ra Pharma shareholders will receive $48 in cash for each Ra Pharma share at closing.

UCB will acquire Ra Pharma’s proprietary peptide chemistry platform to develop novel therapeutics for the treatment of serious disease caused by excessive or uncontrolled activation of the complement system, a critical component of the immune system.

Jean-Christophe Tellier, CEO of UCB said the acquisition will strengthen its neurology and immunology franchises.

“In addition, the combination will provide us with the opportunity to become a leader in treating people living with myasthenia gravis, an auto-antibody mediated neurological orphan disease with high unmet medical need, as well as adding a highly productive technology platform to our innovation engine,” Tellier said.

UCB said the combination of Ra Pharma’s investigational peptic C5 inhibitor zilucoplan alongside its own anti FcRn rozanolixizumab will provide more people living with myasthenia gravis with better treatment options.

“Beyond myasthenia gravis, this acquisition has the potential to enable UCB to offer new treatment opportunities for several rare diseases in neurology and immunology as well as different delivery forms, including extended release and orally available products,” the announcement said.

Doug Treco, president and CEO of Ra Pharmaceuticals said its scientists are looking forward to working with the team at UCB.

“UCB shares our commitment to the rare disease patient community and our goal of developing novel, accessible, and cost-effective therapies in the areas of immunology and neurology.

“I firmly believe it is the right partner for us to advance new treatment options from our unique early and late stage pipeline to patients,” Treco said.

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