Sun hopes to make Concert’s alopecia project shine

Last year Concert unveiled pivotal data suggesting that it had an alopecia contender in its Jak inhibitor deuruxolitinib – but that it perhaps lacked the resources to make this a success. Step forward India’s Sun Pharma, which today acquired Concert for $576m up front. Although this looks like a result for Concert, which only had cash until the next quarter, the modest 33% premium, plus the contingent payments agreed, suggest that the buyer was in the driving seat – similarly to other acquisitions this year. Sun could be hedging its bets against the outcome of an intellectual property dispute that could see royalties owed to Incyte; deuruxolitinib (CTP-543) is a deuterated version of ruxolitinib, the active ingredient of that group’s Jakafi. Sun might also be cautious about its chances against Lilly, whose Olumiant is approved in alopecia, and Pfizer, which is due an FDA decision on its Jak 3/Tec inhibitor ritlecitinib next quarter. Under the CVR, Concert shareholders will receive $1 and $2.50 per share if deuruxolitinib hits annual sales of $100m and $500m respectively; current sellside consensus sees 2028 revenues of $370m. The deal is notable for being a rare US foray by an Indian group, outside the unbranded generics space.

Not just generics: selected buyouts by Indian groups of US companies 
Date Acquiring company Target company Area
Jan 2023 Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Concert Pharmaceuticals Autoimmune 
Nov 2018 Cipla Avenue Therapeutics Speciality pain
Oct 2017 Lupin Symbiomix Therapeutics Women's health
Jan 2017 Zydus Lifesciences Sentynl Therapeutics Speciality pain
Sep 2015 Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Insite Vision Ophthalmology
Source: Evaluate Pharma.

Share This Article