GlaxoSmithKline to acquire Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, a world leader in ’Sirtuin’ research and development
GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) and Sirtris Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (Nasdaq: SIRT) announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which GlaxoSmithKline will acquire Sirtris Pharmaceuticals for approximately USD720 million (or approx. GBP362 million) through a cash tender offer of USD22.50 (or approx. GBP11.33) per share.
Through the acquisition of Sirtris, GSK will significantly enhance its metabolic, neurology, immunology and inflammation research efforts by establishing a presence in the field of sirtuins, a recently-discovered class of enzymes that are believed to be involved in the ageing process. Sirtris Pharmaceuticals has established a drug discovery capability to exploit sirtuin modulation for the treatment of human disease, an approach that has the potential to generate multiple clinically and commercially important products. Their focus to date has been on the development of SIRT1 activators for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM).
"Modulation of this family of enzymes is a potentially transformative science that could address diseases associated with metabolism and ageing such as diabetes, muscle wasting, and neurodegeneration,” commented Moncef Slaoui, Chairman GSK R&D. “This acquisition continues GSK’s strategy of pursuing the best new science, externally or internally, to bring new medicines to patients and value to the GSK pipeline. Our intent is to retain all Sirtris employees and continue the entrepreneurial and innovative culture they created.”
Sirtris will become part of GSK’s Drug Discovery organisation, while continuing to operate from laboratories in Cambridge, Massachusetts as an autonomous drug discovery unit. Christoph Westphal, CEO and Vice Chair of Sirtris and the management team will continue to lead this autonomous unit.
Dr Westphal commented, "We have built a dynamic and scientifically-driven organisation. We expect this transaction will accelerate our vision to target sirtuins to treat diseases of metabolism and ageing and deliver tremendous value to patients, our shareholders and our employees. We look forward to working with GlaxoSmithKline and their world-class research, development and commercialisation organisation.”
Under the agreement, a subsidiary of GSK will commence a cash tender offer to purchase all of the outstanding shares of Sirtris, at USD22.50 (or approx. GBP11.33) per share followed by a second step merger in which any untendered Sirtris shares would be acquired at the same price per share. All outstanding stock options will be cancelled with holders receiving the excess of the transactions price over the exercise price. The acquisition has been approved by the board of directors of each company and is subject to customary closing conditions, including the tender of at least a majority of Sirtris’s shares and clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act. The parties anticipate that the tender offer will be commenced in early May and close in the second quarter of 2008.
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