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Update: Alexion to acquire Achillion for $930M

Boston-based biotechnology company Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. said it was acquiring Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc. for an initial payment of $930 million.

The company agreed to pay $6.30 for every Achillion share it acquires and will make further payments if Achillion meets certain clinical and regulatory milestones.

These milestones include $1 per share if the Achillion's blood disorder drug danicopan, or ACH-4471, is approved in the U.S. where it has the Food and Drug Administration's breakthrough-therapy tag to treat paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, or PNH, as well as orphan-drug designation to treat C3 glomerulopathy and PNH, both rare diseases.

Achillion investors will also receive $1 per share if the company initiates a phase 3 trial of its oral factor D inhibitor ACH-5228.

Danicopan, or ACH-4471, is in phase 2 development, while ACH-5228 is in phase 1.

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As part of the agreement, Alexion will also acquire the cash assets of Achillion, which stood at about $230 million as of Sept. 30. The actual amount will only be verifiable once the transaction closes, Alexion said in an Oct. 16 press release.

The companies expect to close the transaction in the first half of 2020 after getting approval from Achillion's shareholders and satisfying customary closing conditions.

Blue Bell, Pa.-based Achillion reduced its workforce by about 20% in 2018 as part of its operational restructuring plan to cut expenses and focus on developing its existing clinical and late-stage preclinical factor D inhibitors.