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UCB Pharma to acquire Ra Pharmaceuticals in deal valued at $2.1bn

Published on 10/10/19 at 09:10am

UCB has agreed to acquire US-based Ra Pharmaceuticals for $2.1 billion in a deal that will enable the Belgian drug maker to offer a variety of new treatment options for diseases in neurology and immunology.

Ra Pharma is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company leveraging a proprietary peptide chemistry platform to develop novel therapeutics for the treatment of serious diseases caused by excessive or uncontrolled activation of the complement system, a critical component of the innate immune system.

Jean-Christophe Tellier, CEO UCB said: “Ra Pharma is an excellent strategic fit addressing multiple areas of UCB’s patient value growth strategy.

“Upon closing, the acquisition will add to our strong internal growth opportunities – six potential product launches in the next five years, strengthening our neurology and immunology franchises with late and early-stage pipeline projects.

“In addition, the combination will provide us with the opportunity to become a leader in treating people living with myasthenia gravis, an auto-antibody mediated neurological orphan disease with high unmet medical need, as well as adding a highly productive technology platform to our innovation engine.”

One of Ra Pharma’s phase 3 product candidates is zilucoplan, which is a once-daily self-administered subcutaneous peptide inhibitor ofC5. In 2018 Ra Pharma announced positive top-line results from a phase 2 trial of zilucoplan in patients with generalised myasthenia gravis (gMG) which achieved a clinically meaningful and statistically significant reduction in both primary and secondary endpoints.

Doug Treco, Presdient and Chief Executive Officer at Ra Pharmaceuticals, added: “UCB shares our commitment to the rare disease patient community and our goal of developing novel, accessible, and cost-effective therapies in the areas of immunology and neurology.

“I firmly believe it is the right partner for us to advance new treatment options from our unique early and late stage pipeline to patients. Ra Pharma’s technology platform is an ideal addition to UCB’s leading innovation capabilities, and our scientists are looking forward to working with the entire team at UCB.”

Nik Kiran

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