Biogen To Acquire Plano-Based Biotech Reata Pharmaceuticals

Founded in 2002, rare disease drugmaker Reata has made significant advances in therapeutics that regulate cellular metabolism and inflammation in serious neurologic diseases. The company's FDA-approved SKYCLARYS is the first and only approved treatment in the U.S. for Friedreich’s ataxia, a genetic nervous system disorder.

Reata CEO Warren Huff

Editors note: On Sept. 26, Biogen completed its acquisition of Plano-based Reata Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: RETA), a company founded by Warren Huff in 2002.

Plano-based global biotech company Reata Pharmaceuticals Inc. is being acquired by Biogen Inc. in a deal valued at roughly $7.3 billion. It’s an all-cash deal for $172.50 per share, the companies said.

Reata, which was founded in 2002, said it has made significant advancements developing therapeutics that regulate cellular metabolism and inflammation in serious neurologic diseases. Reata’s FDA-approved SKYCLARYS (omaveloxolone) is the first and only approved treatment for Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) in the United States.

The company cleared the final FDA hurdle to get its rare-disease treatment on the market in June. Friedreich’s ataxia Is a genetic disorder that can cause progressive damage to the nervous system, resulting in difficulties in walking and speech and movement problems.

SKYCLARYS’ commercial launch is underway, and European regulatory review is ongoing. Also, Reata said it is developing a portfolio of innovative products for a range of neurological diseases.

“Biogen’s expertise and commercial footprint make it the optimal choice to help SKYCLARYS realize its full potential,” Reata Chairman and CEO Warren Huff said in a statement. “With its clear understanding of the rare disease patient journey and existing commercial infrastructure, we believe Biogen will establish SKYCLARYS as the standard of care in the treatment of this devastating genetic disease.”

‘An excellent complement to our global portfolio of treatments for neuromuscular and rare disease’

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Biogen said the acquisition bolsters its growth.

“With extensive expertise in rare disease product development and global commercialization, as demonstrated by SPINRAZA and the recent launch of QALSODY, we believe Biogen has the foundation in place to accelerate the delivery of SKYCLARYS to patients around the world,” Biogen President and CEO Christopher Viehbacher said in a statement. “This is a unique opportunity for Biogen to bolster our near-term growth trajectory, and SKYCLARYS is an excellent complement to our global portfolio of treatments for neuromuscular and rare disease.”

The companies said that the transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

Biogen said it expects to finance the acquisition with cash on hand, supplemented by the issuance of term debt. The deal, which has been approved by both boards, is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by Reata stockholders and the receipt of necessary regulatory approvals.

Biogen said it has entered into voting and support agreements with certain stockholders of Reata representing roughly 36% of the voting power of Reata’s common stock.

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R E A D   N E X T

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