RARE Daily

SOBI Acquires Rare Blood Disorder Biotech Dova Pharmaceuticals

October 1, 2019

Swedish Orphan Biovitrum, or Sobi, is acquiring Dova Pharmaceuticals for up to $915 million.

Photo: Guido Oelkers, CEO and president at Sobi

Dova’s only drug, Doptelet, is marketed as a treatment for chronic immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) and chronic liver disease.

Dova is also conducting a phase 3 trial in chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia (CIT), which is a common side effect of chemotherapy that results in a low number of platelets. At present, there are no approved drugs to treat CIT.

Under the terms of the acquisition, SOBI will make an upfront payment of $27.50 per Dova share in cash, and an additional $1.50 per share upon U.S. approval of Dova’s Doptelet for use in chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia. The deal represents a 36 percent premium to Dova’s share price ahead of the announcement.

Chronic immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is a rare autoimmune disorder in which the immune system destroys platelets in the blood, leading to abnormal bleeding.

Dova Pharmaceuticals was founded in 2016 to commercialize Doptelet, a second-generation small-molecule thrombopoietin receptor (TPO) agonist used in the treatment of thrombocytopenia by increasing platelet count. In May 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Doptelet for the treatment of thrombocytopenia in adult patients with chronic liver disease (CLD) who are scheduled to undergo a procedure, and in June 2019 for chronic immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) in adult patients who have had an insufficient response to a previous treatment. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved Doptelet for CLD in June 2019, and a European filing for the ITP indication is expected in 2020.

The deal broadens Sobi’s product portfolio into hematology and enhances its commercial presence in the United States. Doptelet will also further diversify Sobi’s revenue base. Although sales have been weak, Sobi believes it can leverage its expertise and existing infrastructure in hematology to grow Doptelet across its indications by expanding patient access outside the U.S.

“The cadence of upcoming launches and approvals across indications and regions that Doptelet provides, enables us to further accelerate growth in our hematology franchise,” said Guido Oelkers, CEO and president at Sobi. “There is a large unmet medical need within thrombocytopenia and for us this is a great opportunity to be able to give patients access to new and improved treatments.”

Sobi will finance the acquisition through a mix of existing cash resources and debt comprised of new committed credit facilities as well as Sobi’s existing credit facilities.

Author: Rare Daily Staff

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