Back to top

Analyst Blog

Zacks Equity Research

Allergan Buys Rights to AstraZeneca's Crohn's Disease Drug

AZN AGN AMPH

Trades from $3

Leading drugmaker, Allergan plc (AGN - Free Report) announced that it has obtained global rights to develop and commercialize AstraZeneca PLC’s (AZN - Free Report) experimental drug MEDI2070 to treat Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis for an upfront payment of $250 million.

Other than the upfront payment, Allergan owes Britain’s AstraZeneca potential additional payments of up to $1.27 billion, should MEDI2070 hit certain product development and sales milestones.

MEDI2070, being developed by AstraZeneca’s global biologics research and development arm MedImmune, is presently in a phase IIb study for the treatment of patients with moderate-to-severe Crohn's disease. It is also ready to start phase II trials for ulcerative colitis with potential across a number of inflammatory and auto-immune disorders.

MEDI2070 adds to Allergan's strong gastroenterology pipeline and also builds on Allergan's commitment to developing the next generation of auto-immune disorder treatments.

The deal comes on the heels of a string of acquisitions Allergan announced last month. It announced a definitive deal to acquire Tobira Therapeutics, Inc. , a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on making drugs to treat non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and other liver diseases at a massive premium of 500%. On the same day, Allergan also announced that it has bought privately held Akarna Therapeutics for $50M in upfront cash plus unspecified milestones. Akarna Therapeutics’ lead product candidate AKN-083, a preclinical-stage FXR agonist, is also being evaluated for the treatment of NASH.

ALLERGAN PLC Price and Consensus

 

ALLERGAN PLC Price and Consensus | ALLERGAN PLC Quote

Allergan also announced that it will be acquiring clinical-stage biotech company, Vitae, for approximately $639 million. The acquisition, scheduled to close by year end, will see Allergan boosting its dermatology pipeline. Allergan also announced the acquisition of RetroSense Therapeutics, a privately held, clinical-stage biotechnology company, which will add the latter’s lead gene therapy development program RST-001 to Allergan’s eye care pipeline.

While Allergan has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), AstraZeneca has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). A stock worth considering in the healthcare sector includes Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (AMPH - Free Report) .

Amphastar Pharmaceuticals has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Amphastar Pharmaceuticals has delivered an average four quarter positive earnings surprise of 456.25% and has a long term earnings growth rate of 23.1%. Shares of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals have risen around 36% year-to-date.

Confidential from Zacks

Beyond this Analyst Blog, would you like to see Zacks' best recommendations that are not available to the public? Our Executive VP, Steve Reitmeister, knows when key trades are about to be triggered and which of our experts has the hottest hand. Click to see them now>>