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Amryt Phama to take control of Lojuxta through merger with US firm Aegerion

Aegerion is a subsidiary of Nasdaq-listed Novelion Therapeutics and the way the deal has been structured values Amryt at US$120mln
Cholesterol
Lojuxta targets bad cholesterol

Amryt Pharma PLC (LON:AMYT) is to merge with Aegerion Pharmaceuticals to form a new global business specialising in rare and orphan diseases.

The merger creates a group with revenues of $136.5mln in 2018 and re-unites the Lojuxta cholesterol treatment under one roof.

Aegerion is a subsidiary of Nasdaq-listed Novelion Therapeutics and the way the deal has been structured values Amryt at US$120mln or around three times its current market value in London.

As part of the transaction, Amryt will raise US$60mln through a share issue at a 20% discount to the implied value and backed by bondholders in Aegerion.

Lojuxta re-unified

Through the merger, Amryt will expand its product portfolio and have global rights not only to Lojuxta but also Myalepta, a treatment for the rare condition leptin deficiency.

Currently, Amryt has the licence for Lojuxta in Europe and the Middle East but said it knows both products very well.

Joe Wiley, Amryt’s chief executive, said: "With this transaction we can continue the strong growth trajectory already underway with Lojuxta in Europe on a global scale.

“It also delivers metreleptin (Myalepta) , another highly compelling commercial rare disease product alongside an established commercial footprint in the US and internationally."

Fines for US firm

Aegerion is in a poor state financially after fines in the US for marketing Lojuxta - known there as Juxtapid - for unapproved uses and breaches of the Securities and False Claims Acts.

The sale is part of a root and branch financial overhaul and subject to approval by the US bankruptcy court.

Convertible bonds worth US$125mln will also be issued that exchange into Amryt shares at a 20% premium to the implied transaction valuation.

Amryt says there are opportunities for costs savings of between US$25m-US$40m by 2020.

AP101 safeguards

UK shareholders wiil also have a safeguard over the value of Amryt’s most valuable drug in development, AP101, which is currently in a phase III trial as a treatment for skin disorder Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB).

‘Contingent Value Rights’ over AP101 could see up to an additional US$85mln paid in cash or shares as milestones are passed.

Aegerion gives it a ready-made commercial US infrastructure in advance of the anticipated launch of AP101, said Amryt.

Joe Wiley will head the enlarged group with a new board to be appointed once the deal closes.

A Nasdaq listing is also proposed with a new Irish holding company to be established.

Shares in Amryt were suspended while the deal is concluded.

-- Adds detail on Aegerion --

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