Amryt buys Aegerion via bankruptcy, adding sales to support R&D

People shaking hands across a desk that has computer and papers on it
Amryt Pharma has completed the acquisition of Aegerion Pharmaceuticals. Last year, the drugs covered by the deal generated sales of $136.5 million. (rawpixel/Pixabay)

Amryt Pharma has completed the acquisition of Aegerion Pharmaceuticals. The deal, which comes after Aegerion filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, gives Amryt near-full control of two commercial drugs that could provide revenues to support its protracted attempt to get AP101 to market.

Aegerion won FDA approval for cholesterol drug Juxtapid late in 2012 and completed a $325 million convertible debt offering two years later. Shortly after the debt offering, Aegerion paid AstraZeneca $325 million for leptin deficiency drug Myalept. The actions gave Aegerion two commercial drugs, but neither proved to be a big enough success to support the debt it took on. 

Amryt picked up the European rights to Juxtapid from Aegerion late in 2016 in a deal that lacked an upfront component. And earlier this year, it put together an all-stock deal designed to free Aegerion from debt and transfer ownership of the business to Amryt.

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The completion of that deal leaves Amryt with the near-global rights to Juxtapid and Myalept. Last year, the products generated sales of $136.5 million. Amryt will look to grow that figure, although it faces patent expirations in the coming years that may limit the longer-term prospects of the drugs.

By then, Amryt may have brought its lead candidate, epidermolysis bullosa treatment AP101, to market. A pivotal trial of the drug has taken longer than expected, with Amryt pushing back the targeted readout by about a year to buy it time to enroll more patients than initially expected. 

Amryt expects to deliver data next year, and, under the terms of its deal with Aegerion, will pay out if the drug comes to market in the U.S. or Europe before July 2022. The Aegerion deal also features a payment tied to the sales AP101 generates before the start of July 2024.

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