Ultragenyx Sweetens Offer, Dimension Tx Agrees to $151M Acquisition

Xconomy San Francisco — 

Two weeks after making a surprise bid for Dimension Therapeutics, Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical is now set to acquire the gene therapy company in a deal valued at $151 million.

Ultragenyx (NASDAQ: RARE) announced Tuesday that it has reached an agreement to acquire Cambridge, MA-based Dimension (NASDAQ: DMTX) for $6 per share. The Novato, CA-based rare disease drug developer had initially offered $5.50 per share, or approximately $136 million. The sweetened offer was apparently too rich for RegenxBio (NASDAQ: RGNX), the Maryland company that had agreed to pay $3.41 per Dimension share, or $86 million. On Monday, RegenxBio notified Dimension that it would not raise its offer.

Dimension’s prior agreement with RegenxBio did not permit Dimension to seek other offers, but it did allow the company to enter talks if a better one were made. Dimension’s termination of its agreement with RegenxBio triggers a $2.85 million fee, which Ultragenyx says it will cover. The boards of directors of both Ultragenyx and Dimension have approved the deal.

The Dimension acquisition marks a new path forward for the company, which earlier this year reported disappointing clinical trial data for an experimental hemophilia B gene therapy. The results led to a corporate shakeup and the layoff of 25 percent of its staff in June.

Meanwhile, Ultragenyx gains a way into the field of gene therapy, using the technology upon which Dimension’s experimental treatments are based. Dimension also brings to Ultragenyx a pipeline of early-stage and preclinical compounds, which Ultragenyx says complement its own pipeline of later-stage drug programs. That pipeline is a little thinner; in August, Ultragenyx announced that a drug to treat the rare muscle disease GNE myopathy failed a Phase 3 clinical trial, news that sent the company’s stock down 13 percent to $51.02. On Tuesday, shares traded as high as $58 apiece.

Ultragenyx has said that it plans to keep Dimension’s Cambridge site, including its drug manufacturing operations. The companies expect to close the acquisition by the end of 2017.

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