Teva Acquiring Labrys Biologics, Startup That Targets Migraines, for $825

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Teva headquarters in Jerusalem.Credit: Bloomberg

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is acquiring Labrys Biologics, a privately-held development stage biotechnology company focused on treatments for chronic migraine and episodic migraine, the two companies announced Tuesday.

Teva will acquire Labrys for $200 million in upfront payment in cash at closing as well as up to $625 million in contingent payments upon achievement of certain pre-launch milestones, according to the definitive agreement.

Labrys has been developing a drug to treat migraines known as LBR-101, which it describes as "a fully humanized monoclonal antibody that binds to calcitonin gene-related peptide." It is currently in Phase IIb clinical trials. It acquired LBR-101 from Pfizer in 2012. The companies estimate that peak sales for the drug could reach $2 billion to $3 billion.

“More than 8.5 million people in the U.S., EU and Japan suffer from episodic or chronic migraine requiring preventative treatment, a condition that can destroy their quality of life,” said Michael Hayden, Teva’s President of Global R&D and Chief Scientific Officer. “With its long half-life, target specificity and favorable pharmacokinetic profile allowing for infrequent, and convenient, subcutaneous administration, LBR-101 represents a very exciting biologic product candidate, and much needed option, for the management of this truly debilitating condition.”

The closing of this transaction is subject to antitrust clearance and satisfaction of other conditions, the companies cautioned.

Shares of TEVA on the Nasdaq exchange rose nearly 3% after announcing a new organizational structure, and have risen 30% from the beginning of 2014 to its highest levels since early 2011.

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