International Industrial Cooperation Organization
Ipsen to acquire Albireo accelerating growth in rare disease with treatments for several pediatric liver diseases

Transaction focused on Bylvay® (odevixibat), the first-approved treatment in progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis in U.S. and E.U., with potential in other rare diseases

Acquisition aligned with Ipsen’s long-term strategy for expanding the scope of its Rare Disease portfolio and pipeline

Ipsen to commence cash tender offer to acquire all issued and outstanding shares of Albireo for $42.00 per share plus a contingent value right (CVR) of $10.00 per share related to the U.S. FDA approval of Bylvay in biliary atresia


PARIS, FRANCE & BOSTON, U.S., 09 January 2023 – Ipsen (Euronext: IPN: ADR: IPSEY) and Albireo (Nasdaq: ALBO) today announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Ipsen will acquire Albireo, a leading innovator in bile-acid modulators to treat pediatric and adult cholestatic liver diseases. The anticipated acquisition will enrich Ipsen’s Rare Disease portfolio and pipeline.

The lead medicine in Albireo’s pipeline is Bylvay® (odevixibat), a potent, once-daily, oral, non-systemic ileal bile acid transport inhibitor (IBATi). Bylvay was approved in 2021 in the U.S. for the treatment of pruritus in patients three months of age and older with progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis (PFIC)1, and in the E.U. for the treatment of PFIC in patients aged six months or older.2  Pruritus is one of the most prominent and problematic manifestations of the disease,3 often resulting in severely diminished quality of life.4  Bylvay has orphan exclusivity for the approved indications in PFIC in the U.S. and E.U.

“We are excited about the potential of Albireo’s assets and scientific expertise, which we gain through this acquisition, and we believe this is a compelling growth opportunity for Ipsen.” said David Loew, Chief Executive Officer of Ipsen. “Our Rare Disease franchise is strengthened with Bylvay, which, in addition to being the first-approved treatment in PFIC, has two further indications being investigated in rare liver conditions that are underserved. Additionally, Bylvay and the clinical and preclinical novel bile acid transport inhibitors in Albireo’s portfolio complement our own pipeline in liver disease.”

“Unwavering dedication to patients and commitment to science have always been the north star for Albireo. This focus has driven us to develop and gain approval for Bylvay as the first drug treatment for PFIC,” said Ron Cooper, President and Chief Executive Officer of Albireo. “Our talented team at Albireo have advanced the first Phase III studies in three different pediatric liver diseases while discovering two promising new clinical stage bile acid modulators. We believe that Ipsen is well positioned to apply its global R&D and commercial capabilities to make these medicines available to more cholestatic liver disease patients and accelerate the mission of providing hope for families. ”

In addition to this lead indication, Albireo announced in December 2022 that supplementary regulatory filings have been made for Bylvay in the E.U. and the U.S. for Alagille syndrome (ALGS). ALGS is a rare, genetic disorder that can affect multiple organ systems, including the liver, with a paucity of bile ducts preventing bile flow from the liver to the small intestine. The most debilitating symptom of ALGS is severe pruritus.5 In the Phase III ASSERT trial, treatment with Bylvay met both primary and secondary endpoints and was associated with statistically significant improvements in pruritus severity and reductions in serum bile acid levels compared to placebo, and was well tolerated.6

Furthermore, Bylvay is in late-stage development for biliary atresia (BA). It is currently being investigated in the BOLD study, the first, prospective double-blind, Phase III clinical trial in BA, a rare, pediatric liver disease that can result in cirrhosis and liver failure and is the leading cause of liver transplantation among children.7 Orphan drug designations have been granted in both ALGS and BA indications in the U.S. and E.U.

As part of the transaction, Ipsen will also acquire Albireo’s clinical stage asset A3907, a novel oral systemic apical sodium-dependent bile acid transporter (ASBT) inhibitor currently in development for adult cholestatic liver disease, such as primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), which could complement Ipsen′s existing development programs. In addition to Bylvay and A3907, Albireo’s pipeline includes A2342, an oral systemic sodium-taurocholate co-transporting peptide (NTCP) inhibitor being evaluated for viral and cholestatic diseases, which is moving ahead in investigational new drug (IND)-enabling trials.

About Bylvay® (odevixibat)

Bylvay (odevixibat) is a potent, non-systemic ileal bile acid transport inhibitor (IBATi). It is approved in  the U.S. for the treatment of pruritus in patients three months of age and older with PFIC,1 where it has orphan exclusivity. Bylvay is launched in the U.S., where it is supported by a program designed to assist with access to treatment and patient support. Bylvay is also approved in the E.U. for the treatment of PFIC in patients aged six months or older.2 It has launched in over nine countries and has secured public reimbursement across several major markets including Germany, Italy, UK, France and Belgium.

About PFIC

PFIC is a spectrum8-11 of autosomal recessive genetic disorders in which cholestasis may lead to end-stage liver disease.12 The estimated global incidence of PFIC is 1 in 100,000 live births.12 Currently in the U.S., it is estimated that there are 500 PFIC patients who may be eligible for IBATi treatment. Subtypes PFIC1, PFIC2 and PFIC3 are the most common.12 In addition, other rare forms of PFIC exist with varying degrees of cholestasis.13 Patients with PFIC have impaired bile flow, or cholestasis, and the resulting bile build-up in liver cells causes liver disease and symptoms. The most debilitating symptom of PFIC is pruritus (itching), which may be so severe that it leads to skin mutilation, loss of sleep, irritability, poor attention and impaired school performance.11 Up to 80% of PFIC patients suffer from severe pruritus, associated with abrasions, skin mutilation, hemorrhage or scarring.

About Ipsen 

Ipsen is a global, mid-sized biopharmaceutical company focused on transformative medicines in Oncology, Rare Disease and Neuroscience. With Specialty Care sales of €2.6bn in FY 2021, Ipsen sells medicines in over 100 countries. Alongside its external-innovation strategy, the Company’s research and development efforts are focused on its innovative and differentiated technological platforms located in the heart of leading biotechnological and life-science hubs: Paris-Saclay, France; Oxford, U.K.; Cambridge, U.S.; Shanghai, China. Ipsen has around 5,000 colleagues worldwide and is listed in Paris (Euronext: IPN) and in the U.S. through a Sponsored Level I American Depositary Receipt program (ADR: IPSEY).

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