Horizon Therapeutics plc (NASDAQ: HZNP) is a relatively new player in the healthcare M&A market. According to search results in our Healthcare Deal Database, the company first reported a deal in April 2020, acquiring Curzion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a San Diego-based biotechnology firm developing treatments for rare fibrotic diseases, for a modest $45 million. However, Horizon Therapeutics is back with a new deal, buying Viela Bio, Inc. in a $3.05 billion deal. 

Viela Bio is a biotechnology company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of novel treatments for autoimmune and severe inflammatory diseases. The company has a substantial pipeline focused on autoimmune and severe inflammatory diseases, including UPLIZNA. Its the first and only FDA-approved B-cell-depleting humanized monoclonal antibody for the treatment of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), a rare, severe, autoimmune disease that attacks the optic nerve, spinal cord and brain stem, which leads to loss of vision and paralysis. The addition of Viela Bio bolsters Horizon Therapeutics’ commercial rare disease medicine portfolio. 

Under the terms of the agreement, Horizon Therapeutics will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Viela Bio stock for $53 per share in cash, which represents a fully diluted equity value of approximately $3.05 billion, or approximately $2.67 billion net of Viela’s cash and cash equivalent. Horizon Therapeutics anticipates the transaction will reduce its adjusted EBITDA by approximately $140 million in 2021, nearly all of which is attributable to increased R&D investment.