RARE Daily

Ionis Pharmaceuticals to Acquire Remaining Stake in Akcea Therapeutics

August 31, 2020

Rare Daily Staff

Ionis Pharmaceuticals and its affiliate Akcea Therapeutics have entered into a definitive agreement under which Ionis will acquire all of the 24 percent of outstanding shares of Akcea common stock it does not already own for $18.15 per share, or about $500 million in cash.

“This acquisition is another step forward in Ionis’ evolution and creates a stronger, more efficient organization to the benefit of all stakeholders. We believe becoming one company—with one vision and one set of strategic priorities, led by one team—will deliver significant strategic value, enhancing the future success of our company, accelerating our next phase of growth and positioning us to most effectively deliver our medicines to patients,” said Brett Monia, CEO of Ionis. “Following the completion of the transaction, Ionis will retain more value from Akcea’s rich pipeline and commercial products, further strengthening our financial position and supporting continued investments in our future.”

Ionis proprietary antisense technology can target diseases where no other therapeutic approaches have proven effective. It established Akcea as a subsidiary in 2015, and spun it out in an IPO in 2017. Akcea’s pipeline, developed using Ionis technology, is focused on treating serious and rare diseases. Besides a strong pipeline of compounds for lipid disorders, Akcea’s and Ionis’ commercial portfolio includes Waylivra, approved in the European Union as a treatment for familial chylomicronemia syndrome (FCS), an ultra-rare, debilitating metabolic disease; and Tegsedi for the treatment of adult polyneuropathy of hereditary transthyretin-mediated amyloidosis, a progressive, systemic, and fatal inherited disease.

Ionis said the transaction will strengthen its financial position as it realizes significant upside from Akcea’s pipeline and commercial products, and approximately $390 million cash on hand as of June 30, 2020.

Under the terms of the agreement, Ionis will commence a tender offer for all outstanding shares of Akcea common stock not already owned by Ionis at a price of $18.15 per share in cash. The closing of the tender offer will be subject to a majority of Akcea’s shares not already owned by Ionis, its affiliates or their respective directors and executive officers being tendered in the tender offer.

Promptly following the completion of the tender offer, Ionis will acquire all remaining shares of Akcea common stock at the same price of $18.15 per share in cash through a second-step merger. Ionis and Akcea expect to complete the transaction in the fourth quarter of 2020, subject to other customary closing conditions.

Ionis expects to fund the acquisition through existing cash resources. The Ionis and Akcea boards have approved the transaction.

Photo: Brett Monia, CEO of Ionis

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