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Plasma-Centric Drugmaker Grifols To Buy Geriatric Pharma Startup Alkahest

Plasma-Centric Drugmaker Grifols To Buy Geriatric Pharma Startup Alkahest

Blood plasma and diagnostics company Grifols SA (NASDAQ: GRFS) is set to completely acquire Alkahest Inc, a biopharmaceutical startup focussed on neurodegenerative and age-related diseases, for $146 million on a debt-free basis.

What Happened: Grifols will buy the remaining equity in Alkahest without having to resort to additional borrowing, the company said in a statement.

The drugmaker added it's likely to complete the transaction early next year. 

“Now we see a wealth of plasma-derived and non-plasma therapeutic candidates identified by Alkahest that can significantly support the unmet needs of many diseases associated with aging,” Grifols co-CEO Victor Grifols said. 

Why It Matters: Grifols previously held a 48% stake in Alkahest, according to a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, Stat noted earlier.

The acquisition will reportedly give the Barcelona-based Grifols new resources in the development of cures for diseases related to aging.

The two companies have worked together in the past as development partners as Alkahest sourced blood plasma of young donors from Grifol’s collection centers based in the United States and Europe, Stat noted.

While this particular acquisition doesn't require tapping the debt market, series of companies have resorted to borrowing to finance merger and acquisitions including Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), which said last month it was borrowing $7.5 billion in bonds to purchase Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc (NASDAQ: MNTA) in a deal valued at $6.5 billion. 

Price Action: Grifols shares closed nearly 2% lower at $15.40 on Friday.

Photo courtesy: Zarateman via Wikimedia


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