Late-Stage Biopharmaceutical Sierra Oncology announces acquisition by GSK

on Apr 13, 2022
  • GlaxoSmithKline PLC to acquire Sierra Oncology for $1.9 billion.
  • Sierra oncology’s Momelotinib has a differentiated action mode with inhibitory activity.
  • Shares of Sierra Oncology up 35%.

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Sierra Oncology (NASDAQ: SRRA) shares traded significantly higher after announcing the acquisition by GlaxoSmithKline PLC (LON: GSK) for $55 a share in cash. That represents a total equity value of $1.9 billion, attributed mainly to SRRA’s Momelotinib, a differentiated mode of action with inhibitory activity and critical signalling pathways.

Sierra oncology’s stock soars amid the announcement of a GSK merger

A California-based late state biopharmaceutical company Sierra Oncology announced an acquisition agreement with GSK. The firm, which focuses on targeted rare cancer therapies, will be acquired for $55 or £42 per common stock share in cash, which amounts to a £1.5 billion approximate total equity value.

According to Luke Miels, Chief Commercial Officer, GSK:

Momelotinib’s differentiated treatment could address the medical needs of myelofibrosis patients with anaemia, largely unmet. It’s the number one reason for discontinued treatment by patients.

The CCO added, saying:

Sierra Oncology complements GSK’s medical expertise and commercial acumen in haematology. The new acquisition gives us the opportunity for bringing meaningful benefits to patients while strengthening our speciality medicines portfolio.

In turn, the president and CEO of sierra oncology, Stephen Dilly, said:

Sierra oncology will realize its mission of delivering targeted therapies for treating rare forms of cancer alongside value to stockholders by uniting with GSK. Their oncology expertise and global infrastructure will enable us to get Momelotinib to patients quickly.

Terms of GSK’s Sierra Oncology acquisition

GSK will cancel the outstanding shares of Sierra Oncology to convert them into the right as $55 per share in cash under the terms of the acquisition agreement. That is to be effected through a one-step merger subject to customary conditions, including a majority of issued and outstanding shareholder approval.

The GSK merger transaction is expected to close before 2022’s third quarter. That’s after the expiration of the earlier termination of the waiting period. As of December 2021, Sierra Oncology’s gross assets to be acquired are $109 million or £83 million. Net losses added up to $96 million for the one year ending 31st December 2021.