Baxter to Buy Leukemia Drugs from Sigma-Tau for $900M

May 13, 2015

Baxter International Inc. has signed an agreement to acquire the Oncaspar (pegaspargase) product portfolio from Sigma-Tau Finanziaria for $900 million before working capital and other transaction adjustments. The company said it will gain the leading marketed biologic treatment Oncaspar, the investigational biologic calaspargase pegol, and an established oncology infrastructure with clinical and sales resources.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter. By mid-year, Baxter says it expects to establish the BioScience business as a separate, publicly traded biopharmaceutical company, Baxalta Inc.

Oncaspar is a first-line biologic used as part of a multi-agent chemotherapy regimen to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). It is currently marketed in the United States, Germany, Poland and certain other countries and has approximately USD $100 million in annual sales, according to a press release.

"Oncaspar is a strong strategic fit for our rapidly expanding oncology business, as it complements our R&D programs in hematologic cancers," said David Meek, head of oncology for Baxter BioScience. "The acquisition provides an immediate commercial footprint in the United States and Europe with a heritage of expertise in treating this challenging disease."

In addition to the currently marketed formulation of Oncaspar, Baxter BioScience intends to continue the development of a lyophilized formulation, which is being investigated to enhance product stability to support product supply continuity.

As part of the acquisition, Baxter BioScience is also acquiring a related new chemical entity calaspargase pegol, a biologic in development for the treatment of ALL with an increased shelf life that is expected to reduce dosing frequency. Further, the company plans to investigate Oncaspar for potential new indications.

Read the full release

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