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Roche, Sarepta sign $1.15B license deal on Duchenne muscular dystrophy drug

Roche Holding AG agreed to acquire rights to launch and commercialize Sarepta Therapeutics Inc.'s Duchenne muscular dystrophy therapy SRP-9001 outside the U.S.

Roche will pay $750 million in cash upfront and another $400 million for Sarepta common shares at $158.59 apiece, the Cambridge, Mass.-based biotech company said in a Dec. 23 press release. Sarepta will also be eligible to receive up to $1.7 billion in milestone payments tied to regulatory approvals and sales, in addition to royalties on net product sales.

SRP-9001 is being developed by Sarepta to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.

The Switzerland-based pharmaceutical giant will undertake half of the expenses related to the clinical development of SRP-9001 while Sarepta will continue to manufacture the drug, Sarepta added.

Goldman Sachs & Co LLC is the lead financial adviser to Sarepta for the transaction, while Morgan Stanley & Co LLC is the financial adviser and Ropes & Gray LLP is the legal adviser.

SRP-9001 previously caused an adverse reaction in a boy enrolled in a clinical study evaluating the therapy in male patients ages 4 to 7 years old over 48 weeks, plus a 96-week extension study, according to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration's report in August.