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Alexion Pharma to Buy Enobia for Up to $1.08B

From Associated Press (December 28, 2011)

CHESHIRE, Conn. -- Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Wednesday it will buy drug developer Enobia Pharma Corp. in a deal that could be worth $1.08 billion.

Alexion will pay $610 million cash upfront for Enobia and as much as $470 million more based on regulatory and sales milestones. Enobia is a privately held company based in Montreal and Cambridge, Mass. Its most advanced drug candidate is ENB-0040, an experimental treatment for hypophosphatasia, which is a metabolic disease that can cause skeletal deformity, severe muscle weakness, and progressive damage to vital organs.

Alexion said there are no approved treatments for hypophosphatasia. ENB-0040 is in mid-stage clinical testing, and it has received orphan drug status in the U.S. and European Union, along with fast-track status in the U.S. Fast track reviews are intended to lead to faster decisions about drugs for serious illnesses or unmet medical needs, and orphan drug status means that if ENB-0040 is approved, it will have years of marketing exclusivity.

Alexion's only approved drug is Soliris, which treats two rare blood disorders.

Shares of Alexion fell 63 cents to $70.92 Wednesday. The stock gave up $1.27 to $69.65 in aftermarket trading.

Posted: December 2011