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 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.
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