Jazz Pharma snaps up Eusa in $700M buyout deal

Jazz Pharmaceuticals is buying its way into the cancer drug game. The Ireland-based drugmaker ($JAZZ) says it will shell out $650 million upfront and potentially $50 million more to scoop up Eusa Pharma and its drugs for cancer and critical care.

The crown jewel of the deal is Eusa's top drug, Erwinaze, which the FDA approved in November for treating acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients. The enzyme drug is made from Erwinia chrysanthemi, which gives it properties that are different from a version of the treatment made with E. coli that can cause immune reactions in 15% to 20% of patients.

Jazz also gets Eusa's 9 other products and two key drug candidates: Asparec, a pegylated recombinant version of Erwinaze in Phase I studies in Europe, and Leukotac, an anti-CD25 monoclonal antibody in late-stage development to treat steroid-refractory cases of acute graft-versus-host disease.

Investors appeared to support Jazz's buyout move, which expands upon its existing business in pain, women's health and narcolepsy, Reuters reported. The company's shares jumped 13% in after-hours trading Thursday. Jazz said the acquisition of Eusa--which provides cancer, cancer supportive care and critical care products--would add up to $230 million in 2013 revenue.

- here's the release
- see the Reuters article
- and the report from the PharmaTimes