Sector News

J&J, Roche partner Halozyme buys Antares Pharma for $1B, beefing up drug delivery offerings

April 16, 2022
Life sciences

Having struck partnerships with the likes of Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline and Roche, Halozyme is best known for its under-the-skin drug delivery platform. Now, the company is buying into the auto-injector realm and setting out to cultivate an internal commercial team.

Halozyme has signed a deal to purchase auto-injector specialist Antares Pharma for about $960 million, or $5.6 per share, to further expand its drug delivery offerings.

Antares’ auto-injector technologies are behind several marketed products, including the Vibex device used in Teva’s generic EpiPen and generic Forteo. The deal also gives Halozyme a suite of internal commercial products and a sales team.

Last year, Antares’ revenue jumped 23% to $184 million. The company’s commercial portfolio includes testosterone injection Xyosted, the Nocdurna tablet for nocturia caused by idiopathic nocturnal polyuria, and newly FDA-approved Tlando, the first oral testosterone product without titration requirement.

The acquisition adds on to Halozyme’s Enhanze drug delivery technology, which allows intravenous therapies to be given under the skin by increasing the volume of biologics that can be injected subcutaneously. The platform is utilized in J&J’s multiple myeloma therapy Darzalex Faspro and Roche’s Phesgo, a fixed-dose combo of Perjeta and Herceptin. It’s also being tapped by multiple Big Pharma partners, including Bristol Myers Squibb, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline, among others.

With the deal, Halozyme sees the potential to combine the two companies’ technologies to produce a rapid subcutaneous drug delivery system that allows for a large volume of administration up to 5mL, Halozyme CEO Helen Torley said during a conference call Wednesday.

While the auto-injector platform is a natural fit for Halozyme, Antares’ commercial infrastructure marks a shift from Halozyme’s existing business model.

San Diego-based Halozyme pivoted to focus solely on Enhanze in 2019 after its lead pipeline drug failed in pancreatic cancer. Since then, the biotech has been running on partner revenues and sales-related royalties. Fast forward to today, Antares now brings with it three commercial drugs and three internal development programs, plus a sales force of 122 staffers.

Halozyme came across Antares when it was searching for dealmaking targets on the drug delivery side for auto-injector technology, Torley said. But Halozyme also sees “strong growth potential and a great platform for revenue diversification” from the commercial business, she said.

When asked about whether Halozyme will seek more M&A to further expand its commercial offerings, Torley said she’s open to adding assets “over time” if they fit with the company’s existing business in endocrinology and urology.

Halozyme expects the deal to close soon before the end of June. The company confirmed that it expects $530 million to $560 million in 2022 revenues and that it will execute a planned $750 million share buyback program.

By Angus Liu

Source: fiercepharma.com

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