Allergan to buy Tobira Therapeutics for $1.7 bn

Irish pharmaceutical company Allergan Plc today struck a deal to buy Tobira Therapeutics Inc in a deal worth up to $1.7 billion in order to add treatment for liver diseases to its portfolio.

Under the terms of the deal, Allergan will pay $28.35 a share, and up to $49.84 if Tobira reaches certain sales and regulatory goals.

Tobira is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialisation of therapies for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and other liver diseases.

The San Francisco-based company's lead product is cenicriviroc (CVC), a first-in-class immunomodulator and dual inhibitor of CCR2 and CCR5 in late-stage development for the treatment of NASH, a serious liver disease that can progress to cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure.

CVC is also being investigated to address primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), a disease which causes inflammation and scarring of the bile ducts, eventually leading to serious liver damage.

Tobira's pipeline also includes evogliptin, a selective DPP-4 inhibitor, which it plans to develop for NASH in combination with CVC.

Allergen said that the acquisition adds CVC and Evogliptin, two development drugs for the treatment of the multi-factorial elements of NASH, including inflammation, metabolic syndromes and fibrosis, to Allergan's global gastroenterology R&D pipeline.

"The acquisition of Tobira is a strategic R&D investment within a white space area of our global Gastroenterology franchise and an opportunity to advance the development of novel treatments for NASH," said Brent Saunders, CEO and president of Allergan.

"With the increasing rates of diabetes, obesity and other metabolic conditions in the US and in developed nations globally, NASH is set to become one of the next epidemic-level chronic diseases we face as a society,'' he added.