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Viela Bio Spikes as Horizon Therapeutics Agrees to Acquire It for $3.5 Billion

Shares of Viela spiked Monday after Horizon Therapeutics said it will buy the autoimmune disease drug developer for $3.5 billion.

Shares of Viela Bio  (VIE)  surged on Monday morning after Horizon Therapeutics  (HZNP)  said it will buy the autoimmune disease drug developer for $3.5 billion.

Shares of the Gaithersburg, Md.-based Viela were up 52.6% to $52.92 at last check.

Biopharma company Horizon said it had entered into a definitive agreement under which it will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of common stock of Viela for $53 per share in cash. 

Horizon said it will acquire all remaining shares of Viela not tendered in the offer through a second-step merger at the same price per share upon successful completion of this deal.

The acquisition has been unanimously approved by Horizon’s and Viela’s boards of directors and is subject to regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the first quarter this year, Horizon said.

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“This acquisition represents a significant step forward in advancing our strategy -- to expand our pipeline in order to accelerate our growth over the long term,” said Tim Walbert, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Horizon, in a statement.

“Adding Viela’s research and clinical development capabilities along with its deep, mid-stage biologics pipeline to our seasoned R&D and commercial teams, advances our transformation to an innovation-driven biotech company...We intend to maximize the full potential of Viela’s pipeline, including the pursuit of additional future indications," Walbert added.

Horizon anticipates the transaction will reduce its adjusted EBITDA by $140 million in 2021, nearly all of which it attributes to increased R&D investment.

"We believe that the combined pipeline, including the pursuit of additional potential indications, has the potential to yield innovative new medicines to treat autoimmune and severe inflammatory diseases," said Bing Yao, chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement. 

"Our collective R&D expertise coupled with Horizon’s commercial capabilities, has the potential to provide benefit to more patients with high unmet treatment needs.”

Shares of Horizon were off 0.21% to $72.33 at last check.