Hell-bent on a kidney drug
24.04.2012 - AstraZeneca offers Ardea Biosciences’ stock owners in total $1.26bn. A successful merger would add a kidney drug to its portfolio.
Stockholm – Swedish-British pharma giant AstraZeneca plc wants to buy Californian biotech company Ardea Biosciences Inc. On April 23, the companies entered into a definitive merger agreement. According to AstraZeneca’s offer, Ardea stock owners would receive $32 for each share certificate – a 54% increase when compared with last Friday’s closing call. This means a total cash value of $1.26bn. The transaction will be accomplished in Q2 or Q3. Ardea’s Board has recommended its stock owners to approve the deal.
Ardea, from San Diego, is a specialist in small-molecule therapeutics. AstraZeneca is especially keen on an Ardea development currently in Phase III – the inhibitor of the URAT1 transporter lesinurad (RDEA594). It is a remedy against hyperuricaemia in patients with gout. In the ongoing clinical trials, lesinurad is tested for its potential as add-on treatment to both allopurinol and febuxostat – plus as monotherapy for patients intolerant to these two off-the-shelf drugs. However, the filings for a New Drug Application in the US and a Marketing Authorisation Application in the EU are only planned for the first half of 2014.
Lesinurad is a first-in-class selective inhibitor of URAT1, a uric acid transporter in the proximal tubules of the kidney. In exchange for anions, URAT1 transports uric acid molecules back into the blood. Inhibiting the transporter leads to reduced reabsorption and alleviated hyperuricaemia