Sector News

UCB to acquire Zogenix

January 23, 2022
Life sciences

UCB (Euronext: UCB) and Zogenix (NASDAQ: ZGNX) announced today that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement under which UCB would acquire Zogenix, Inc., a global biopharmaceutical company commercializing and developing therapies for rare diseases. Under the terms of the agreement, UCB will commence a tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of Zogenix for a purchase price per share of US$ 26.00 in cash at closing, plus a contingent value right (CVR) for a potential cash payment of US$ 2.00 upon EU approval by December 31, 2023, of FINTEPLA® as an orphan medicine for treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). The upfront consideration represents a 72% premium to Zogenix shares based on the 30-day volume weighted average closing stock price of Zogenix prior to signing. The total transaction is valued at up to approximately US$ 1.9 billion / € 1.7 billion.

The board of directors of both companies have unanimously approved the transaction, the closing of which remains subject to the tender of shares representing at least a majority of the total number of Zogenix’s outstanding shares, receipt of required antitrust clearances, and other customary conditions.

The transaction will broaden and build upon UCB’s role as a leader in, and our continued commitment to, addressing unmet needs of people living with specific or rare forms of epilepsy, in particular, adding FINTEPLA® to UCB’s existing product line. FINTEPLA® has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)1 and the European Medicines Agency (EMA)2 and is under regulatory review in Japan3, for the treatment of seizures associated with Dravet syndrome in patients two years of age and older. Zogenix is also pursuing indications for the use of FINTEPLA® in the treatment of seizures associated with additional rare epilepsies, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder (CDD)4. Zogenix has submitted a Type II Variation Application to the EMA5, and the U.S. FDA recently accepted for filing Zogenix’s supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA)6, granting Priority Review, for LGS. Beginning in childhood, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome are two of the most devastating and life-long forms of epilepsy 7,8,9,10.

“The proposed acquisition of Zogenix reinforces UCB’s sustainable patient value strategy and continued commitment to addressing unmet needs of people living with epilepsy with an increasing focus on those living with specific or rare forms of epilepsy, where few options exist. Complementing UCB’s existing therapeutic offerings, the Zogenix acquisition provides UCB with an approved medicine for a life-threatening, rare infant- and childhood-onset epilepsy marked by frequent and severe treatment-resistant seizures, that are particularly challenging to treat,” said Charl van Zyl, Executive Vice President, Neurology & Head of Europe/International Markets, UCB. “Utilizing our deep expertise, experience and global capabilities, we plan to accelerate access for patients to the treatment. We look forward to welcoming the Zogenix team to UCB, benefiting from their insights and working together to maximize the reach and impact of their medicines for the benefit of as many people as possible.”

“We are delighted to announce UCB’s proposed acquisition of Zogenix, recognizing the value of our lead medicine, both for the important role it has already begun to play for Dravet patients and their caregivers, and for its potential to help many others in the future,” said Stephen J. Farr, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Zogenix. “We are excited for the potential opportunities ahead of us, working together to accelerate our mission and progress to improve the care of patients in need of new therapies. We believe this transaction is in the best interests of both patients and our shareholders.”

Strategic Benefits

  • Builds on UCB’s continued epilepsy ambitions: Acquisition provides medicine that complements UCB’s existing symptomatic treatments, bringing significant and differentiated value to patients suffering from Dravet syndrome and, if approved, from seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and potentially other rare epilepsies.
  • Expands benefits for patients globally: UCB brings an established global footprint, together with deep research and development, commercial, medical, and regulatory expertise in epilepsy, which will be utilized to rapidly advance and optimize the availability of these new treatments and reach additional patients.
  • Enhances future epilepsy pipeline and strategic priorities in rare/orphan diseases: Zogenix’s pipeline will add to UCB’s short-term and long-term epilepsy pipeline, as well as provide critical learnings in rare/orphan disease health ecosystems.
  • Enhances UCB’s top-line growth: FINTEPLA® was launched in the U.S. and Europe in 2020 and has significant potential for usage in other seizure types. It is expected that the proposed acquisition, if completed, will contribute to UCB’s revenue growth upon closing and will be accretive to UCB’s earnings in 2023.

Transaction Terms, Approvals and Time to Closing
Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, UCB, through a wholly-owned subsidiary, Zinc Merger Sub, Inc., will initiate a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Zogenix for a purchase price of US$ 26.00 per share in cash, plus one non-tradeable CVR. The CVR will entitle holders to an additional cash payment of US$ 2.00 per share if a regulatory milestone related to approval of FINTEPLA® for treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) is achieved by or before December 31, 2023. The closing of the tender offer will be subject to certain conditions, including the tender of shares representing at least a majority of the total number of Zogenix’s outstanding shares, receipt of required antitrust clearances, and other customary conditions. Upon the successful completion of the tender offer, UCB’s acquisition subsidiary will be merged into Zogenix, and any remaining shares of common stock of Zogenix will be cancelled and converted into the right to receive the same consideration per share offered in the tender offer. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the second quarter of 2022. There can be no assurance any payments will be made with respect to the CVR.

By UCB, Press Release


comments closed

Related News

May 21, 2022

As monkeypox cases emerge in US and Europe, Bavarian Nordic inks vaccine order

Life sciences

A monkeypox outbreak is emerging in the U.S. and Europe, and at least one country is amping up countermeasure preparedness. Bavarian Nordic has secured a contract with an unnamed European country to supply its smallpox vaccine, called Imvanex in Europe, in response to the emergence of monkeypox cases, the Danish company said Thursday.

May 21, 2022

Moderna chairman Afeyan defends hiring practices after CFO debacle: report

Life sciences

Moderna’s recent chief financial officer debacle—in which Jorge Gomez departed on his second day on the job—raised questions about the company’s hiring process given its rush to global biopharma prominence. The most obvious one: How was it possible for Gomez to be hired when he was under investigation by his previous employer, Dentsply Sirona of Charlotte, N.C.

May 21, 2022

Merck to pay up to $1.4B in cancer deal with Kelun, but details are scarce

Life sciences

Merck & Co. is plucking a cancer project from the branch of Chinese-based Kelun Pharmaceutical for up to $1.4 billion, but details from the New Jersey-based Big Pharma have been hard to come by. The deal, first disclosed Monday on the Shenzhen stock exchange, has Merck handing over $47 million in upfront cash in exchange for ex-China rights to a “macromolecular tumor project.”