Parsippany-based Astellas Pharma acquires Princeton-based Iveric Bio for $5.9B

Pharma companies are leaders in research on degenerative sight issues

Astellas Pharma Inc., a Tokyo-based pharma company that makes its U.S. headquarters in Parsippany and has a specialty around degenerative sight issues, announced this weekend that it has an agreement to acquire Princeton-based Iveric Bio for $5.9 billion.

Under terms of the agreement, Astellas, through Berry Merger Sub Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Astellas US Holding Inc., will acquire 100% of the outstanding shares of Iveric Bio for $40 per share. Iveric Bio will then become an indirectly wholly owned subsidiary of Astellas.

Astellas Pharma conducts business in more than 70 countries around the world. It has a primary focus on blindness and regeneration — as it aims to identify, develop and deliver next-generation treatments to restore sight for patients with retinal diseases.

Astellas CEO Naoki Okamura was pleased to announce the acquisition, citing Iveric Bio’s work in ophthalmology.

“We are pleased to reach an agreement with Iveric Bio, a company with exceptional expertise in the R&D of innovative therapeutics in the ophthalmology field,” he said.

“Iveric Bio has promising programs, including Avacincaptad Pegol, an important program for Geographic Atrophy secondary to Age-Related Macular Degeneration, and capabilities across the entire value chain in the ophthalmology field.

“We believe that this acquisition will enable us to deliver greater value to patients with ocular diseases at high risk of blindness.”

Iveric Bio CEO Glenn Sblendorio said the acquisition makes sense on many levels and is a testament to the Iveric Bio team.

“This transaction with Astellas, a highly respected pharmaceutical company, demonstrates the significant value that we have built for our stockholders and recognizes the tremendous work by our dedicated team at Iveric Bio,” he said.

Iveric Bio President Pravin Dugel said the merged companies could have great impact.

“The opportunity to create a world-class entity with the ophthalmology expertise and capabilities of Iveric Bio and the global reach and resources of Astellas is unique and has the potential to benefit patients worldwide suffering from blinding retinal diseases, including GA,” he said.