) completed the acquisition of privately-held Ceptaris
Therapeutics. The acquisition closed on the heels of Ceptaris'
drug Valchlor gaining U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
We note that in Jul 2013, Actelion had entered into an
agreement with Ceptaris to acquire the latter, contingent upon
the FDA's approval of Valchlor and some additional closing
Valchlor gained approval for the topical treatment of
early-stage (stage IA and IB) mycosis fungoides-type cutaneous
T-cell lymphoma. It can be used in patients who have previously
undergone skin-directed treatment. It is currently the only
FDA-approved topical formulation of mechlorethamine. Launch is
expected in the last quarter of 2013. Valchlor will be
distributed by Accredo Speciality Pharmacy. Patients will be
provided with support and assistance programs.
Actelion had paid $25 million to Ceptaris upon signing the
agreement. An additional $225 million was also paid on the
completion of the acquisition. Moreover, Ceptaris' shareholders
are entitled to payments based on Valchlor sales and achievement
of some commercial milestones.
We believe this acquisition will provide Actelion an
opportunity to build a portfolio beyond its pulmonary arterial
hypertension (PAH) franchise. The diversification should bode
well for Actelion, in our view. This acquisition is also a step
forward in Actelion's three pronged strategy of building a
specialty franchise along with growing the PAH franchise and
optimization of profitability.
Actelion currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Other
stocks that look attractive include
Biogen Idec Inc.
Gilead Sciences Inc.
). All three carry a Zacks Rank #1.
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