AstraZeneca boosts cardiovascular portfolio with new acquisition


AstraZeneca is to acquire Omthera Pharmaceuticals to complement its cardiovascular portfolio in a deal worth up to $443 million.

New Jersey based Omthera Pharmaceuticals focuses on the development and commercialization of new therapies for abnormal levels of lipids in the blood, referred to as dyslipidemia.

One of the company's investigational products, for the potential treatment of patients with very high triglycerides, is called Epanova. Positive results of phase 3 clinical trials evaluating Epanova were released in 2012 and Omthera is expected to file a new drug application (NDA) in the US for Epanova in mid-2013 for patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia (triglyceride levels greater than or equal to 500mg/dL).

"The number of people with elevated triglyceride levels is rising rapidly across the world, due in part to the increasing prevalence of obesity and diabetes. There is a clear need for effective and convenient alternatives to some of the existing treatments. Epanova offers real potential both as a distinctive monotherapy for the treatment of hypertriglyceridemia and in combination with Crestor for patients at high risk of adverse cardiovascular events. This is an exciting acquisition that clearly complements our existing portfolio in cardiovascular and metabolic disease, one of our core therapy areas."

Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer of AstraZeneca.

AstraZeneca aims to file a supplemental NDA as soon as possible for Epanova as a treatment for patients with mixed dyslipidemia (triglyceride levels of 200-499mg/dl), as well as in a fixed dose combination with CRESTOR (rosuvastatin calcium) for those mixed dyslipidemia patients at high risk of a cardiovascular event. AstraZeneca intends to pursue a large-scale cardiovascular outcomes trial for Epanova in combination with statins.



Related news:

AstraZeneca buys heart firm Omthera for up to $443 million (Reuters)

AstraZeneca buys Omthera in $443m 'heart drug' deal (The Telegraph)

Reference links:

AstraZeneca press release

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28 May, 2013