Halozyme Picks Up Antares' Drug Delivery Tech for Nearly $1B

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Halozyme Therapeutics announced Wednesday morning that it is acquiring Antares Pharma for $960 million in cash. The news caused Antares stock to rocket 47% in premarket trading.

“The addition of Antares with its best-in-class auto injector platform and specialty commercial business, augments Halozyme’s strategy, further strengthens our position as a leading drug delivery company and extends our strategy to include specialty products,” said Dr. Helen Torley, president and chief executive officer of Halozyme.

Torley added, “The acquisition of Antares fits well with our previously discussed strategic priorities and provides substantial financial growth potential and disruptive solutions to significantly improve patient experiences and outcomes for emerging and established therapies. Halozyme is well-positioned to leverage Antares’ value proposition, driven by a strong balance sheet, established industry relationships and business development experience.”

On March 24, Halozyme inked a global collaboration and license deal with Roche subsidiary Chugai Pharmaceuticals, giving Chugai access to Halozyme’s ENHANZE drug delivery technology recombinant human hyaluronidase PH20 enzyme (rHuPH20). The target was not disclosed. Under the deal, Chugai paid Halozyme $25 million up front with potential milestones of up to $160 million. Halozyme will also be eligible for royalties on sales of any commercialized products using the ENHANZE technology.

ENHANZE removes traditional limitations on the volume of biologics that can be injected subcutaneously, allowing biologics that could only be dosed intravenously to be delivered subcutaneously. Halozyme has deals with several companies for its ENHANZE technology, including Roche, Baxalta, Pfizer, AbbVie, Eli Lilly, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Alexion, argenx, Horizon Therapeutics, ViiV Healthcare and now Chugai.

Antares is a specialty pharmaceutical company that develops and commercializes drugs and technologies for targeted therapeutic areas using its advanced drug delivery systems. Most recently, on March 29, it announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted final approval for Tlando (testosterone undecanoate), an oral drug for testosterone replacement therapy indicated for disorders linked to a deficiency or absence of endogenous testosterone or hypogonadism in adult males.

The company’s products include Xyosted, a weekly auto-injector testosterone therapy, Tlando, Nocdurna, a sublingual tablet for the treatment of nocturia due to nocturnal polyuria in adults who wake up at least twice a night to urinate, and Sumatriptan, a generic of Imitrex (sumatriptan succinate) to treat acute migraine with or without aura, and acute cluster headaches in adults.

Halozyme has a market value of approximately $5.7 billion. In 2019, the company restructured after the failure of a metastatic pancreatic cancer drug in Phase III. In November 2019, Torley said the company would discontinue clinical development of the drug, PEGPH20, as well as its entire oncology operation. It intended to focus entirely on its ENHANZE technology. It also markets a range of custom drug delivery devices.

Of the acquisition, Robert F. Apple, president and chief executive office of Antares, stated, “We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Halozyme, as this transaction showcases the value of Antares’ highly complementary business, provides our shareholders with attractive and certain value, and brings together industry-leading expertise and drug delivery platforms to accelerate growth and create new opportunities. As we remain committed to continuing to serve our partners, I would like to thank our employees for their hard work and dedication to this mission. We look forward to working with the Halozyme team to complete the transaction and deliver best-in-class therapies and drug delivery solutions.”

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