Horizon Therapeutics to Purchase Viela Bio for $3.1 Billion

Horizon Therapeutics Plc said it will purchase Viela Bio Inc. for about $3.1 billion to expand its portfolio and pipeline of treatments for rare diseases.

Horizon will acquire all of Viela Bio’s issued and outstanding shares for $53 each, according to a statement by the Lake Forest, Illinois-based company on Monday. That’s a 53% premium over Viela’s closing share price Friday. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the first quarter.

The purchase will add Viela Bio’s Uplizna, an approved treatment for a rare autoimmune disease that attacks vision, to Horizon’s offerings. The drug is one of four the biotech has been developing for different immune-system-related conditions, including fibrosis, transplant rejection and rheumatoid arthritis.

Horizon’s marketed drugs include Tepezza for thyroid eye disease and Krystexxa for chronic gout. The purchase will bolster the company’s research and development ability by adding expertise from Viela Bio in autoimmune and inflammatory disease, according to the statement.

Horizon rose 1.3% to $73.43 at 9:40 a.m. in New York trading. Gaithersburg, Maryland-based Viela Bio gained 53% to $52.92.

British drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc agreed to divest its 27% interest in Viela Bio, for which it will receive proceeds and profit of about $760 million to $780 million, according to a separate statement.

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