The acquisition will give BioMarin worldwide rights to several
orphan-drug candidates including drisapersen, which is being
developed to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a rare muscle
Drisapersen could be the first approved treatment for the rare
genetic disease that affects one in 3,600 newborn boys, most of whom
die by age 30.
BioMarin will offer $17.75 for every Prosensa share and make two
milestone payments of $80 million each following U.S. and European
approvals for Prosensa's lead drug, drisapersen.
Excluding milestone payments, the offer represents a premium of 55
percent to Prosensa's last closing price of $11.44.
Prosensa's shares were trading at $18.50 premarket on Monday.
Prosensa has filed for marketing approval of drisapersen, stealing a
march on rival Sarepta Therapeutics Inc, which is conducting
mid-stage studies for its DMD drug eteplirsen.
Sarepta received a major setback last month when U.S. regulators
asked for more data on eteplirsen, a move that could delay the drug
Wedbush Securities analyst Liana Moussatos said the deal made sense
for BioMarin, given its history with developing drugs for the
The company dropped its own DMD candidate in 2010, after the drug
failed early-stage studies. (http://reut.rs/1viCDST)
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Both Sarepta and Prosensa from use the same mechanism in their DMD
treatments. The drugs skip a faulty section of a gene to produce a
protein called dystrophin, the lack of which causes the disease.
Prosensa is developing two other DMD drugs, which are currently
being tested in early and mid-stage studies. It is also testing
drugs to treat Huntington's disease.
BioMarin's shares were unchanged before the bell.
(Reporting by Vidya L Nathan and Amrutha Penumudi in Bangalore;
Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)
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