Horizon Therapeutics in Separate Sale Talks With Amgen, Sanofi, J&J

  • In Business
  • 2022-11-29 23:57:50Z
  • By Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Horizon Therapeutics Plc soared in post-market US trading after the developer of medicines for rare autoimmune and inflammatory diseases said it's in talks with a trio of potential suitors about a possible sale of the company.

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Amgen Inc., Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi are separately engaged in preliminary discussions with Horizon, the company said in a statement on Tuesday. There's no certainty that any of the talks will lead to an offer. Dublin-based Horizon rose 30% in trading after markets closed in New York.

Emerging from the exhausting focus on Covid-19, big drugmakers are resuming their search for innovative therapies, especially for those that treat rare diseases and cancer. Merck & Co. earlier this year scuttled an estimated $37 billion bid for oncology drugmaker Seagen Inc., though it agreed this month to purchase Imago BioSciences Inc. to gain therapies for rare bone marrow conditions that lead to overproduction of blood cells.

Horizon had dropped 27% this year through Tuesday's close, valuing the company at $17.8 billion. The company gets almost half of its $3.6 billion in annual sales from Tepezza, a treatment for a painful autoimmune condition called thyroid eye disease. Other top drugs include Krystexxa for chronic gout and Ravicti, a treatment for inborn urea disorders.

Horizon is "a premier biotech company that offers significant growth opportunities across both commercialized and pipeline assets," Guggenheim Partners analysts led by Yatin Suneja said in a note. Based on sales estimates, they see a potential deal value of $25 billion to $30 billion.

Under Irish law, each company would have until 5 p.m. New York time on Jan. 10 to either step up with an offer or say it's backing out, Horizon said in the statement. The company has US operations in Deerfield, Illinois, and Rockville, Maryland.

(Updates with analysts' comment on potential deal value in penultimate paragraph.)

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