Alexion to pay $855m for Swedish biotech with Ph III candidate

By Flora Southey

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Kritchanut)
(Image: Getty/Kritchanut)
Alexion Pharmaceuticals has announced plans to buy Wilson Therapeutics and its lead candidate WTX101, which has received Fast Track designation.

According to the tender offer, US-headquartered Alexion will pay SEK 7,100m ($855m) cash for Wilson Therapeutics and its oral copper-binding agent WTX101, designed to treat Wilson disease.

“Wilson disease is a rare disorder that can lead to severe liver disease, including cirrhosis and acute liver failure, as well as debilitating neurological morbidities such as impaired movement, gait, speech, swallowing, and psychiatric disorders,” ​said Alexion CEO Ludwig Hantson.

WXT101 (bis-choline tetrathiomolybdate) is a high affinity copper binding agent that provides an alternative copper-protein binding mechanism by forming a tripartite complex with copper and albumin.

WXT101 thereby detoxifies excess copper in both the liver and blood, and promotes copper clearance through biliary excretion – the body’s natural route of elimination,” ​Alexion spokesperson Kim Diamond told us.

The candidate has received Fast Track designation in the US and Orphan Drug Designation for the treatment of Wilson disease in the US and EU.

The US firm did not disclose specific manufacturing details, but confirmed it plans to maintain the current supply chain. 

Diamond said Alexion will work with Wilson’s 20 staff over the next few weeks on integration planning:“Our main focus is to make sure continuity is maintained in the clinical trial that is ongoing.”

Alexion expects the transaction to close in the second quarter of 2018.


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