29.05.2013 - AstraZeneca has filled its pipeline with a Phase III fish oil cardioprotective drug, taking over Omthera Pharmaceuticals for $443m.
The British-Swedish drug giant will pay Omthera $12.70 per share, or approximately $323 million, a premium of 88% to Omthera's closing price on Friday. In addition, Omthera shareholders will get "contingent value rights" (CVRs) of up to approximately $4.70 per share, or $120 million in total, depending on the success of Omthera's experimental fish oil-derived medicine Epanova to treat patients with very high triglyceride levels. Epanova is a mixture of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
The expansion into the cardiovascular market pitches AstraZeneca into competition with rivals including Irish Amarin, British Glaxo SmithKline that is marketing the $917m fish-oil derived medicine Lovaza or Geman BASF, who has taken over Norwegian Pronova. Omthera's drug is ready to be filed for US approval and could be combined with AstraZeneca's cholesterol fighter Crestor.
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