Alexion Pharmaceuticals acquires Taligen Therapeutics for $111 million

Creates Translational Medicine Group to accelerate development of expanded portfolio

Jeffrey Bouley
CHESHIRE, Conn.—Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. has acquired Taligen Therapeutics, Inc., a privately helddevelopment-stage biotechnology company based in Cambridge, Mass., in a move that broadens Alexion's portfolio of product candidates andexpands its capabilities in translational medicine by bringingadditional accomplished researchers to the company.
 
The acquisition was completed with an upfront cash payment of $111million for 100 percent of Taligen's equity interests. Additionalcontingent payments would be earned upon reaching various clinicalefficacy and product approval milestones in both the US and EuropeanUnion for up to six products. 
 
With the acquisition Alexion is said to gainpromising preclinical compounds, including potential treatments forpatients with ophthalmic diseases such as age-related maculardegeneration (AMD), as well as other novel antibody and proteinregulators of the complement inflammatory pathways.

"Taligen's talented scientists and impressive technology will enhanceAlexion's world-class staff and breakthrough research and developmentprograms, substantially increasing our ability to develop first-in-classtherapies for patients with severe diseases," says Dr. Leonard Bell, CEO of Alexion. "As product developmentopportunities continue to expand, we look forward to increasing thequality, speed, and throughput of our combined current and futuredevelopment programs for the benefit of patients worldwide."
 
Taligen's scientific staff will form the nucleus of Alexion's newCambridge Massachusetts-based Translational Medicine Group, headed byDr. Abbie Celniker, former CEO of Taligen and now head of translational medicine at Alexion, reporting to Dr. StephenSquinto, executive vice president and head of research and development at Alexion.
 
"Alexion has proven how highly innovativescience can result in life-transforming therapies for patients withdebilitating disorders," said Celniker. "We are excited to becombining our research and development capabilities with Alexion'sglobal team with the goal of accelerating the investigation of novelmolecules from our combined portfolios and developing additionalfirst-in-class compounds."
 
Alexion will provide 2011 financial guidance in February, includingtransaction-related one-time expenses. Non-GAAP Research and Developmentexpenses for 2011 are expected to be approximately 18 percent of sales,including activities associated with Taligen's programs.
 
Alexion is engaged inthe discovery, development and commercialization of therapeutic productsaimed at treating patients with a wide array of severe disease states,including hematologic and kidney diseases, neurologic disorders,transplant, other inflammatory disorders, and cancer. Soliris(eculizumab), Alexion's first marketed product, is approved in more than35 countries as a therapy for patients with PNH, a debilitating andultra-rare life-threatening blood disorder. Alexion is evaluating otherpotential indications for Soliris and is pursuing development of otherinnovative biotechnology product candidates in early stages ofdevelopment.


Jeffrey Bouley

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