Ardea Biosciences (RDEA -0.1%) says it's earned a $7.5M milestone payment from Bayer (BAYRY.PK) under the terms of their April 2009 global license agreement to develop and commercialize RDEA's mitogen-activated ERK kinase inhibitor compounds for cancer and other indications. The milestone was triggered by the recent initiation of Phase 2 clinical studies. Separately, Gabelli says it's raised its stake in the company from 7.9% to 8.94%.
AstraZeneca's (AZN -1.8%) purchase of Ardea Biosciences (RDEA +51.5%) may be the first in a series of deals for the company. The drug developer is considering buying other late-stage assets outside its research and development focus on cancer, diabetes and gastrointestinal ailments, in an effort to counter looming generic competition.
AstraZeneca (AZN) will buy Ardea Biosciences (RDEA) for $1.26B, giving it access to a new drug for treating gout patients. Net of the existing cash held by Ardea, the $32/share acquisition is valued at $1B and is a 54% premium to Ardea's Friday close. (PR)
William Blair initiates coverage on Savient Pharmaceuticals (SVNT) and Ardea Biosciences (RDEA), citing their roles in developing therapies for gout. The firm estimates the U.S. gout market at $2B-$3B; SVNT's Krystexxa will start to gain traction this year, and RDEA's lesinurad, currently in Phase III studies with data expected in 2013, eventually will hit $1.7B in worldwide sales.
Ardea Biosciences (RDEA), which closed the day with a market cap of $470.4M, has filed for a $150M mixed shelf offering. The company plans to partly use the proceeds to help fund a clinical trial for its Lesinurad drug for treating gout.
Ardea Biosciences (RDEA +6%) is trading higher after saying earlier that it's completed its end-of-phase 2 meetings with the FDA, and has reached an agreement on key aspects of its proposed lesinurad development plan for phase 3.