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Astellas divests dermatology business
TOKYO—Astellas Pharma Inc. has announced an asset purchase agreement with LEO Pharma A/S, a Denmark-based pharmaceutical that develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceutical drugs for dermatologic and thrombotic indications, under which Astellas will transfer its global dermatology business to LEO Pharma for €675 million (approximately $725.4 million).
“Astellas continuously considers its strategy and as a result, we reached this decision,” Yoshihiko Hatanaka, president and CEO of Astellas, commented in a statement. “We feel that dermatology patients around the world will be better served by transferring these products to LEO Pharma, a company with a strong focus on the dermatology therapeutic area. This transaction will allow us to re-allocate resources to activities that drive our competitive advantage. We are pleased to work with LEO Pharma to ensure smooth continuation of product supply around the world.”
Per the terms of the agreement, the assets and associated responsibilities relating to Astellas’ global portfolio of dermatology products, including Protopic, treatment for atopic dermatitis, and other products for acne and skin infections predominantly sold in the EMEA region, will be transferred to LEO Pharma. (This excludes Protopic in Japan, as the distribution right for Protopic was transferred to Maruho Co. Ltd. last April.)
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016. Astellas continues to review the impact the deal may have on its financial forecasts for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016.
“This is a historic milestone for LEO Pharma and will be instrumental in our efforts to help even more people living with skin diseases. We are excited about this opportunity and are looking forward to be working closely with Astellas on a seamless transfer of the portfolio,” said Gitte Aabo, CEO and president of LEO Pharma, in a press release. “With our expanded portfolio, we will be able to offer patients an even wider range of treatment solutions to meet their individual needs. For LEO Pharma, leading in dermatology care is about making a real difference to people’s everyday lives.”
This news comes just a day after Astellas announced a definitive agreement by which it will acquire biotechnology company Ocata Therapeutics Inc., which focuses on research and development in regenerative medicine with an emphasis on ophthalmic needs, through Laurel Acquisition Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Astellas US Holding Inc. Both Astellas' and Ocata's boards have unanimously approved the deal.
Per the agreement, Laurel will commence a tender offer for all outstanding shares of Ocata common stock at $8.50 per share in cash, and Ocata's board of directors has resolved to recommend that the company's shareholders tender their shares to the offer. Once the tender offer is completed, Laurel will be merged into Ocata, and any remaining shares of common stock of Ocata will be canceled and converted into the right to receive the offer price (except for shares held by stockholders who properly demand appraisal rights under Delaware law). Ocata's directors and executive officers have entered into support agreements pursuant to which they agreed to tender their Ocata shares, which total approximately 1.7 percent of the outstanding shares, into the tender offer.