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Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ) announced that it has started work on building a manufacturing and development facility in Ireland. The company will invest approximately $60–$68 million (€45–€50 million) on the facility. Jazz Pharma expects to complete construction by 2016.

This marks a milestone for Jazz Pharma as it is constructing a manufacturing and development facility for the very first time. We note that Jazz Pharma has so far gained access to most of its marketed products and pipeline candidates through acquisitions.

In fact, the company has been very active on the acquisition front. Recent deals include the company’s upcoming acquisition of biopharma company Gentium (GENT), which will add Defitelio (treatment of severe hepatic veno-occlusive disease/VOD) to its portfolio. Defitelio is approved in the EU. A regulatory application for Defitelio is expected to be submitted in the first half of 2014 in the U.S. where it enjoys Fast Track Designation for the VOD indication. Defitelio enjoys orphan drug status in both the U.S. and the EU for the treatment and prevention of VOD. Defitelio is also being evaluated for the prevention of VOD (phase III).

Jazz Pharma plans to market Defitelio in the same centers as its oncology drug, Erwinaze – this will create synergies. Thus, with only a small increase in the sales force, Jazz Pharma expects to add revenues in the range of $50 million to $60 million.

Earlier deals include the EUSA Pharma Inc. acquisition in Jun 2012 and the Jazz Pharma -Azur Pharma merger in Jan 2012. Both acquisitions added a number of products to Jazz Pharma’s portfolio: FazaClo LD, FazaClo HD, Prialt and Erwinaze.

Jazz Pharma, a biopharmaceutical company, currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked biopharma stocks, worth considering, include Emergent BioSolutions, Inc. (EBS - Analyst Report) and Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF). Both sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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