Horizon Therapeutics boosts rare-disease portfolio with $3.05 billion Viela Bio buy

(Reuters) – Horizon Therapeutics plc has agreed to buy Viela Bio Inc for about $3.05 billion as it looks to boost its rare-disease portfolio, the drugmakers said on Monday.

Horizon will acquire all of Viela’s common stock for $53 per share in cash and expects the deal to close in the first quarter of 2021.

“This acquisition represents a significant step forward in advancing our strategy – to expand our pipeline in order to accelerate our growth over the long term,” Horizon Chief Executive Officer Tim Walbert said.

Viela’s only approved drug, Uplizna, is used to treat a rare, severe, neuroinflammatory disease named neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder that attacks the optic nerve spinal cord and brain stem.

Horizon, which had $2.08 billion in cash and cash equivalents as of Dec. 31, expects the transaction to reduce its adjusted EBITDA by about $140 million in 2021.

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