Baxter BioScience acquires Oncaspar portfolio for leukaemia for $900m

Baxter has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Oncaspar® (pegaspargase) product portfolio from Sigma-Tau for US $900 million.

The Company gains the leading marketed biologic treatment Oncaspar, the investigational biologic calaspargase pegol, and an established oncology infrastructure with clinical and sales resources. The Oncaspar transaction is expected to close in the third quarter. By mid-year, Baxter expects to establish its BioScience business as a separate, publicly traded, innovation-oriented biopharmaceutical company, Baxalta Incorporated.

Oncaspar has approximately USD $100 million in annual sales

Oncaspar is a first-line biologic used as part of a multi-agent chemotherapy regimen to treat acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). It is currently marketed in the United States, Germany, Poland and certain other countries and has approximately USD $100 million in annual sales.

“The Baxter BioScience legacy of delivering solutions for orphan diseases and small patient populations and our global presence positions us well to accelerate the growth of the Oncaspar portfolio globally,” said Ludwig Hantson, Ph.D., president of Baxter BioScience. “With Oncaspar, Baxalta will bring an established standard of care therapy to more patients worldwide through the pursuit of additional indications and regulatory approvals across the globe.”

“Oncaspar is a strong strategic fit for our rapidly expanding oncology business, as it complements our R&D programs in hematologic cancers,” added David Meek, head of oncology for Baxter BioScience. “The acquisition provides an immediate commercial footprint in the United States and Europe with a heritage of expertise in treating this challenging disease.”

Baxter intends to continue the development of a lyophilized formulation

In addition to the currently marketed formulation of Oncaspar, Baxter BioScience intends to continue the development of a lyophilized formulation, which is being investigated to enhance product stability to support product supply continuity.

As part of the acquisition, Baxter BioScience is also acquiring a related new chemical entity calaspargase pegol, a biologic in development for the treatment of ALL with an increased shelf life that is expected to reduce dosing frequency. Further, the company plans to investigate Oncaspar for potential new indications, including in additional ALL patient populations with significant unmet needs, as well as for acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).

“We are confident that this transaction provides benefits for  patients, our business and our employees. The Oncaspar team will gain beneficial resources by joining forces with Baxter BioScience to bring this valuable treatment to more patients around the world,” said Andrea Montevecchi, CEO of Sigma Tau Finanziaria SpA.

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