AstraZeneca to buy ZS Pharma for $2.7 billion

08.11.2015 -

Anglo-Swedish drugs firm AstraZeneca has unveiled plans to buy US biopharmaceutical company ZS Pharma, in a move that boosts its portfolio for treating cardiovascular and metabolic disease.

Under the terms of the acquisition, which has been unanimously approved by ZS Pharma’s board of directors, AstraZeneca will acquire all of the outstanding capital stock for $90 per share in an all-cash transaction, equal to roughly $2.7 billion.

The deal gives AstraZeneca access to potassium-binding compound ZS-9, a potential best-in-class treatment for hyperkalaemia - a serious condition characterized by high potassium levels in the blood linked with increased mortality in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and chronic heart failure (CHF).  AstraZeneca said ZS-9 complements its increasing focus on CKD and CHF, including the investigational medicine roxadustat which is currently in Phase III development for patients with anaemia associated with CKD.

ZS-9 is currently being reviewed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with an outcome expected by May 26 2016. A submission in Europe is planned by the end of this year. AstraZeneca is estimating global peak year sales of ZS-9 to exceed $1 billion.

ZS Pharma has about 200 employees across three sites in California, Texas and Colorado. It will become a wholly owned subsidiary of AstraZeneca when the deal is completed, expected by the end of 2015.