Billion dollar deal centres on drug in stem cell transplantation

A new drug to treat severe hepatic veno-occlusive disease, a complication of cancer treatment involving hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, was the target for Jazz Pharmaceuticals, which has agreed to pay about a billion US dollars for Gentium.

Gentium, an Italy-based biopharma, won European Medicines Agency approval in October 2013 for defibrotide (Defitelio), its lead drug. The biopharmaceutical specialist focuses on serious, undertreated rare conditions.

The all-cash transaction has been approved by the boards of directors from both companies.

We believe that Jazz Pharmaceuticals’ commercial and clinical expertise, and existing multi-national infrastructure, will help realize the value of Defitelio to patients, as the first treatment approved in the European Union for the treatment of severe hepatic veno-occlusive disease.

“We both are dedicated to bringing highly differentiated therapies to patients who have high unmet medical needs.”

Dr Khalid Islam, chairman and chief executive, Gentium.

“Because Defitelio is already approved in the EU, the acquisition would add a new orphan product that has potential for short- and long-term revenue generation, high growth and expansion of our multi-national commercial platform.”

Bruce Cozadd, chairman and chief executive, Jazz Pharmaceuticals.




Related news:

Jazz Pharma to buy Italy’s Gentium for $1 bln (Reuter’s).

Reference links:

Jazz Pharmaceuticals and Gentium SpA announce agreement for Jazz Pharmaceuticals to acquire Gentium For $57.00 per share (Jazz press release).

Summary of positive opinion for Defitelio (European Medicines Agency statement; PDF)

Hepatic veno-occlusive disease after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: review and update on the use of defibrotide, Seminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis, 2007 Jun; 33(4): 373-88.

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