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AMAG to Acquire Ciraparantag Maker Perosphere Pharmaceuticals

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AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (AMAG - Free Report) has entered into an agreement to acquire Connecticut-based privately held Perosphere Pharmaceuticals Inc., which will add the latter’s investigational candidate, ciraparantag, to its portfolio. This move will strengthen the company’s expertise in hematology pipeline.

Ciraparantag is an anticoagulant reversal agent. The candidate is currently being evaluated in a phase IIb study on patients, treated with novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) or low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) when reversal of the anticoagulant effect is needed for emergency surgery, life-threatening or uncontrolled bleeding. The candidate is being developed as a single dose solution, which has to be administered intravenously.

Ciraparantag has been well-tolerated in clinical probes so far and has not demonstrated any procoagulation signals. Based on such positive clinical data, AMAG plans to design the phase III program on the candidate.

The FDA has granted a Fast Track designation to ciraparantag and the candidate has a patent protection through 2034.

Per the agreement, the purchase consideration to Perosphere’s equity holders includes a payment of $50 million. AMAG will also bear a $12-million term loan and up to $6.2 million of Perosphere’s liabilities. Additionally, AMAG is entitled to pay regulatory milestones of up to $140 million to Perosphere’s equity holders on the drug’s approval in the United States without any boxed warning.

Perosphere equity holders are also eligible to receive sales-based milestone payments of up to $225 million. The transaction is expected to complete during the first quarter of 2019, subject to customary closing conditions.

The acquisition looks to be a great strategic fit for AMAG as this will complement its hematology pipeline and solidify its portfolio.

Shares of AMAG have rallied 28.2% so far this year versus the industry’s decline of 17.8%.

We would like to remind investors that AMAG has been pursuing strategic buyouts and deals to drive its portfolio and pipeline. In September 2018, the company exercised its option to in-licenses the global rights to an orphan drug candidate, AMAG-423, pursuant to an option contract signed in July 2015 with Velo Bio, LLC, a privately-held life-sciences company. Terms of the deal were amended at the time of exercising the rights.

Zacks Rank & Stock to Consider

AMAG currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the healthcare sector include Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALXN - Free Report) , Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD - Free Report) and Illumina, Inc. (ILMN - Free Report) , all sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see  the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Alexion’s earnings estimates have been revised 5.3% upward for 2018 and 2.1% for 2019 over the past 60 days.

Gilead’s earnings estimates have moved 4.2% north for 2018 and 2.9% for 2019 over the past 60 days.

Illumina’s earnings estimates have been raised 5.1% for 2018 and 3.4% for 2019 over the past 60 days. The stock has soared 53.1% year to date.

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