Shoving Regenxbio aside, Ultragenyx’s Emil Kakkis closes Dimension buyout deal with 400% premium

Emil Kakkis, Ultragenyx

Ultragenyx $RARE has won its 11th-hour bid for the troubled gene therapy biotech Dimension Therapeutics $DMTX, which is leaving Regenxbio $RGNX at the altar.

Scuttled by a clinical disaster for its hemophilia B program, Dimension was ready to hand over the rest of the pipeline to Regenxbio for $3.41 a share, a hefty premium for its badly battered stock.

But Ultragenyx CEO Emil Kakkis — an adviser to Dimension — clearly felt it still looked like a bargain.

Kakkis initially offered $5.50 a share, then sweetened it to $6, with both boards signing off on the switch. Now Ultragenyx will hand over $151 million in cash to complete the deal.

That’s a 400% premium from what it had been valued at. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Ken Mills, Regenxbio

Dimension’s lead therapy — DTX-101 — is out of the picture after a critical flop following weak results. Ultragenxy is primarily interested in expanding its rare disease drug pipeline with two early-stage gene therapy drugs.  DTX301 is designed to treat ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC), using a vector to deliver the OTC gene to the liver. And the preclinical DTX401 delivers a copy of the glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase) gene to liver cells for glycogen storage disease type Ia.

Regenxbio CEO Ken Mills said on Monday that he was sticking with a disciplined approach to M&A, preferring to take the $2.85 million termination fee and walk.

Kakkis had this to say in a statement:

The acquisition of Dimension provides a unique opportunity to approach treatment of more rare diseases and advance our development as a next-generation rare disease company. Specifically, we look forward to leveraging our development and commercial skills in combination with Dimension’s gene therapy technology, programs and people to accelerate the process of expanding treatment options and bringing important new therapies to market for patients.

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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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