Asahi Kasei in $1.3bn bid to access US pharma market

By Ben Hargreaves contact

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty Ijeab)
(Image: Getty Ijeab)

Related tags: Asahi Kasei, Veloxis, Lundbeck, Drug delivery, Envarsus XR

Asahi Kasei has a bid accepted for oral dose specialist, Veloxis, with one eye on gaining a position in the US market.

The shareholders of Veloxis have already unanimously agreed the offer from the Japanese chemical giant, which will be paid in cash. The agreed price is DKK 6.00 per share, valuing the deal at DKK 8.9bn ($1.3bn).

Veloxis was originally spun out of Lundbeck, a Danish pharmaceutical company, in 2002.

Asahi stated that the biotech has a “primary focus on the US market”​, while the company’s sole product has “proven highly profitable,”​ as part of the reasoning behind making the deal.

The biotech specializes in oral dose products, through its MeltDose technology. This allows for the creation of treatments that have enhanced oral bioavailability and controlled release.

Veloxis has one product currently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in Envarsus XR (tacrolimus), which is used for the prevention of organ rejection in kidney transplants patients. The treatment is administered once daily.

Hideki Kobori, president and representative director of Asahi Kasei Corp, said, '”The Asahi Kasei Group is attracted by the results of Veloxis and will actively support the management team's strategy to drive further value to the business by completing key value creating projects and evaluate potential new strategic options aimed at growing the Veloxis Group's business while utilizing potential synergies within the Asahi Kasei Group.”

On its website, Veloxis has displayed growth of revenue each year from 2015, with an increase year-on-year in 2018 of over 30%.

With the addition of Envarsus XR, Asahi Kasei Pharma will possess a portfolio of 12 products, ranging across orthopedics, circulatory, urology, the immune system, and the central nervous system.

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