Baxter expands cancer portfolio with $900M purchase of Oncaspar

Baxter has acquired the Oncaspar product portfolio from Italian pharmaceutical group Sigma-Tau Finanziaria S.p.A.

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DEERFIELD, Ill.—Baxter International Inc. and Sigma-Tau Finanziaria S.p.A. have inked a definitive agreement under which Baxter will acquire the Oncaspar product portfolio from Sigma-Tau, a deal that nets Baxter Oncaspar, the investigational biologic calaspargase pegol, and an established oncology infrastructure with clinical and sales resources. Per the agreement, Baxter will purchase the portfolio for $900 million before working capital and other transaction adjustments. The transaction is expected to be accretive to adjusted earnings on a cash basis in the first full year and increasingly accretive thereafter. Baxter expects to close the deal in the third quarter of this year, and by mid-year, will establish its Baxter BioScience business as a separate, publicly traded biopharmaceutical company to be called Baxalta Incorporated.
"Oncaspar is a strong strategic fit for our rapidly expanding oncology business, as it complements our R&D programs in hematologic cancers," David Meek, head of oncology for Baxter BioScience, commented in a press release. "The acquisition provides an immediate commercial footprint in the United States and Europe with a heritage of expertise in treating this challenging disease."
Oncaspar is part of a multi-agent chemotherapeutic treatment regimen for patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and for patients with ALL and hypersensitivity to native forms of L-asparaginase. Oncaspar is on the market in the United States, Germany, Poland and select other countries, with annual sales of approximately $100 million. Baxter BioScience plans to keep marketing the existing formulation of Oncaspar while also continuing development of a lyophilized formulation, which is expected to enhance product stability and in turn support supply continuity.
"The Baxter BioScience legacy of delivering solutions for orphan diseases and small patient populations and our global presence positions us well to accelerate the growth of the Oncaspar portfolio globally," Dr. Ludwig Hantson, president of Baxter BioScience, added in a statement. "With Oncaspar, Baxalta will bring an established standard of care therapy to more patients worldwide through the pursuit of additional indications and regulatory approvals across the globe."
In addition, Baxter BioScience is also acquiring calaspargase pegol, a related new chemical entity. This biologic is currently in development for the treatment of ALL as well, though with an increased shelf-life that is hoped to reduce dosing frequency. Baxter also intends to investigate potential new indications for Oncaspar, including additional ALL patient populations and patients suffering from acute myeloid leukemia.
"We are confident that this transaction provides benefits for patients, our business and our employees. The Oncaspar team will gain beneficial resources by joining forces with Baxter BioScience to bring this valuable treatment to more patients around the world," noted Andrea Montevecchi, CEO of Sigma-Tau Finanziaria SpA.
SOURCE: Baxter International press release

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