Allergan to acquire Tobira Therapeutics for $1.6bn


Allergan's most successful product is its Botox anti-wrinkle treatment (Source: Getty)

Dublin-based pharma firm Allergan has said it's buying US liver treatment firm Tobira Therapeutics for an eye-watering $1.6bn (£1.2bn).

Allergan will pay $28.35 per Tobira share upfront, a massive premium on Tobira's close price yesterday of $4.74 per share. 

Tobira shares were suspended from the pre-market in the US today ahead of the announcement. 

Read more: Teva readies for Allergan deal with bond sale

Allergan could also pay up to $49.84 per share in contingent value rights, if certain treatments and drugs hit development expectations.  

Brent Saunders, chief executive and president of Allergan, said:

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 non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). 

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.

It is important that we invest in new treatments today so that healthcare systems, providers and patients have treatment options to face this challenge in the coming years.

The deal is expected to close by the end of 2016.

Allergan has been on shopping spree since the US treasury stepped on its proposed tax inversion tie-up with US-based Pfizer.

The deal was a victim of a US government clampdown on so-called tax inversion deals.

Read more: Pfizer-Allergan collapse contributes to record period for cancelled M&A

Allergan chief executive Brent Saunders said at the time: “These rules... [were used] very specifically to target this deal.”

In its most recent set of results Allergan reported total net revenues of $3.7bn (£2.8bn) in the second quarter of this year – up two per cent from the previous three months.

The figures missed Wall Street expectations however, sending shares lower.