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Novo Nordisk makes improved €2.6bn offer for Ablynx

Goes back to the Belgian biopharma with a higher bid

Novo Nordisk

Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk is hoping to bolster its haematology franchise after stating interest in Ablynx along with its lead asset caplacizumab - a rare bleeding disorder treatment.

Offering a total of €2.6bn to acquire the Belgian biopharma, Novo has proposed an upfront cash consideration of €28 per share and potential cash payments of up to €2.50 per share.

This is the second proposal that Novo has made to Ablynx’s board within the past month, but this time the Danish group has come armed with an almost 14% increase over its initial offer of €26.75 per share.

Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, chief executive officer of Novo, said: “The proposed transaction with Ablynx represents a compelling opportunity for both companies and is in the best interests of all Ablynx’s stakeholders.

“We intend to use our full suite of regulatory, scientific and marketing expertise to complement the existing strong management and medical team at Ablynx in order to optimise the development and global commercialisation of caplacizumab for the benefit of patients suffering from thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (aTTP).”

The medicine in question - which received an orphan drug designation in Europe and the US - was submitted to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) back in February last year, and is currently awaiting a decision from the European regulatory body.

Jørgensen added: “Ahead of the rapidly approaching potential EMA approval of caplacizumab, we believe now is the right time to consider a transaction that maximises value for all Ablynx’s stakeholders.”

According to Novo however, Ablynx’s board of directors have failed to engage in any discussions regarding the take-over.

Meanwhile, Novo has said it will continue to invest in and further develop Ablynx’s nanobody platform following its almost three-year collaborative partnership in the programme.

Article by
Gemma Jones

8th January 2018

From: Sales

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