Sun Pharma Boosts Dermatology Offering with Concert Buy

24.01.2023 - Indian drugmaker Sun Pharmaceutical Industries is to buy US biotech Concert Pharmaceuticals, gaining access to the latter’s lead product candidate deuruxolitinib for treating an autoimmune dermatological disease.

Deuruxolitinib is an oral inhibitor of Janus kinases JAK1 and JAK2, which are suggested to have a role in the development of alopecia areata, where the immune system attacks hair follicles, leading to hair loss on the scalp and body.

The candidate drug is currently in late-stage development with one Phase 3 trial completed and two other long-term studies underway in Europe and North America. Sun Pharma said its immediate focus will be to follow Concert’s plan to submit a New Drug Application to the US Food and Drug Administration in the first half of 2023.

“Sun Pharma is building a global dermatology and ophthalmology franchise and aims to be a preferred development and commercial partner in these therapies worldwide. The acquisition of Concert adds a late-stage, potential best-in-class treatment for alopecia areata in deuruxolitinib,” said Sun Pharma’s CEO North America Abhay Gandhi, adding that there is a significant unmet need in the treatment of alopecia areata.

Sun Pharma has agreed to make an upfront payment of $8 per Concert share, equal to an equity value of $576 million. Concert shareholders will also receive an extra payment of $3.50 per share providing that deuruxolitinib achieves certain sales milestones within specified periods.

Both companies’ boards have approved the transaction, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist