TOKYO: Astellas Pharma Inc. and Audentes Therapeutics Inc. have entered into a definitive agreement for Astellas to acquire Audentes at a price of US$60.00per share in cash, representing a total equity value of approximately US$3 billion.
“Recent scientific and technological advances in genetic medicine have advanced the potential to deliver unprecedented and sustained value to patients, and even to curing diseases with a single intervention,” said Kenji Yasukawa, President and CEO, Astellas.
“Audentes has developed a robust pipeline of promising product candidates which are complementary to our existing pipeline, including its lead program AT132 for the treatment of X-Linked Myotubular Myopathy (XLMTM). By joining together with Audentes’ talented team, we are establishing a leading position in the field of gene therapy with the goal of addressing the unmet needs of patients living with serious, rare diseases.”
“We are very pleased to enter into this merger agreement with Astellas,” stated Matthew R. Patterson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Audentes. “With its focus on innovative science and a global network of research, development and commercialization resources, we believe that operating as part of the Astellas organization optimally positions us to advance our pipeline programs and serve our patients.”
The acquisition of Audentes represents a key step in the expansion of the Astellas Focus Area approach, under which Astellas strives to create innovative medicines for diseases with high unmet medical needs by identifying unique combinations of biology and therapeutic modality/technology based on emerging science. In addition to the four Primary Focus in which Astellas currently prioritizes its investment, with the acquisition of Audentes, the company is adding a fifth Primary Focus in Genetic Regulation, under which gene therapy will be a key driver of the company’s future growth.
Under the agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both Astellas and Audentes, Astellas will acquire Audentes through Asilomar Acquisition Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Astellas US Holding, Inc..
Asilomar will commence a tender offer for all outstanding shares of common stock of Audentes, for a price of US$60.00 per share in cash. Promptly upon successful completion of the Tender Offer, Asilomar will be merged into Audentes, and any remaining shares of common stock of Audentes will be canceled and converted into the right to receive the same US$60.00 per share price.
The board of directors of Audentes has resolved to recommend that Audentes stockholders tender their shares to Astellas.