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Nexvet Stock Skyrockets on $85 Million Takeover Offer from Zoetis (ZTS)

4/14/2017 6:30:34 AM

Nexvet Stock Skyrockets on $85 Million Takeover Offer from Zoetis April 14, 2017
By Alex Keown, Breaking News Staff

TULLAMORE, Ireland – Shares of Irish company Nexvet Biopharma shot up more than 60 percent on Thursday after the company agreed to be acquired by New Jersey-based Zoetis Inc. (ZTS), an animal healthcare company, for about $85 million.

Zoetis Inc., which was the former animal health unit for Pfizer (PFE), said acquiring Nexvet and its pipeline of developmental monoclonal antibody therapies for companion animals in pain and other therapeutic areas, is expected to strengthen the company’s research and development pipeline and will broaden its portfolio of solutions for pain.

Under terms of the deal, Zoetis will fund the acquisition with cash on hand and Zoetis Bidco’s own financial resources. Zoetis will pay $6.72 per share for Nexvet’s common stock, a 66 percent premium over the closing of Nexvet stock on April 12. Shares of Nexvet closed at $6.62 on Thursday, up more than 60 percent from the start of the day. The acquisition is expected to be finalized in the second half of the year if it is finalized by shareholders and regulatory agencies.

Nexvet’s pipeline product ranevetmab is a mAb targeting nerve-growth factor for pain treatment for dogs. If approved, the treatment would be the first monoclonal antibody therapy administered monthly by injection for chronic pain in companion animals. Zoetis said ranevetmab would be a “highly differentiated alternative” to its daily oral therapy Rimadyl, which was the first non-steroidal anti-inflammatory product approved to treat arthritis pain and inflammation in dogs.

Not only are Nexvet’s canine therapies expected to be strong drivers, Zoetis said the Irish company’s feline-specific injectable mAb, frunevetmab, which also targets nerve-growth factor, “could open up a new opportunity in feline pain that is underserved today.”
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Nexvet’s platform technology, dubbed PETization, enables the company to build upon safety and efficacy data from clinically-tested human therapies to create new therapies for companion animals. PETization creates monoclonal antibodies that are designed to be recognized as native by an animal’s immune system, according to the company.

The global market for companion animal pain therapeutics is currently estimated at approximately $400 million annually, Zoetis said in its release.

Nexvet has a manufacturing facility in Ireland and research and development operations in Australia, according to XConomy. The company also has an office in San Francisco.

Zoetis reported revenue of $1.3 billion for the fourth quarter of 2016, which was flat compared with the fourth quarter of 2015.

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