INDIA – Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (Sun Pharma) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Concert Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Concert) for up to US$576 million in equity value.

Concert has an extensive patent portfolio, including its lead product candidate deuruxolitinib – an oral inhibitor of Janus kinases JAK1 and JAK2 for the treatment of Alopecia Areata, an autoimmune dermatological disease – which is in late-stage development.

The US-based biotechnology firm has completed the evaluation of the efficacy and safety of deuruxolitinib in adult patients with moderate to severe Alopecia Areata in its THRIVE-AA Phase 3 clinical program.

Concert’s deuruxolitinib has two open label, long-term extension studies ongoing in North America and Europe in joint efforts to advance the potential treatment of Alopecia Areata, which may affect up to 2.5% of the United States and global population during their lifetime.

With the acquisition of Concert, Sun Pharma seeks to build its global Dermatology and Ophthalmology franchise and aims to be a preferred development and commercial partner in these therapies worldwide.

In a press release, India’s top pharmaceutical company said: “Sun Pharma’s immediate focus would be to follow Concert’s plan to submit a New Drug Application (NDA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the first half of 2023.”

Under the deal, Sun Pharma will acquire all outstanding shares of Concert through a tender offer for an upfront payment of US$8.00 per share of common stock in cash, or US$576 million in equity value.

It will also maximize value for Concert’s shareholders while enhance access to deuruxolitinib for patients with Alopecia Areata.

The Indian drug major has agreed to sell a nontradeable contingent value right (CVR) to Concert stockholders entitling holders an additional US$3.50 per share of common stock in cash as of January 18, 2023.

However, the additional payments to shareholders are tied to Concert’s deuruxolitinib achieving certain net sales milestones within specified periods as per the contingent value rights agreement detailing the terms of the CVRs.

Abhay Gandhi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sun Pharma’s North America business, underscored that the acquisition of Concert adds a late-stage, potential best-in-class treatment for Alopecia Areata in deuruxolitinib.

There is a significant unmet need in the Alopecia Areata space and we aim to build on Concert’s commitment to supporting the Alopecia Areata patient community. We are well-positioned to successfully bring this product to market globally,” he added.

On his part, President of Concert Dr. Roger Tung welcomed the landmark deal with Sun Pharma while noting it delivers substantial value to the Company’s shareholders and is the outcome of a thorough review process overseen by the Concert Board.

We are proud to see our team’s accomplishment – creating a valuable new drug candidate for a major, underserved disease – appropriately recognized and valued by Sun Pharma as a means to expand their ongoing, international commitment to dermatology,” Dr. Tung said.

Moreover, the transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2023. It is in line with Concert’s mission to translate innovative science to clinical solutions in order to meaningfully improve patients’ lives.

For all the latest healthcare industry news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, and YouTube Channel, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, and like us on Facebook.