Liquidia’s recent announcement to acquire RareGen strengthens its position in the PAH space

GlobalData Healthcare 20 July 2020 (Last Updated July 20th, 2020 09:53)
Liquidia’s recent announcement to acquire RareGen strengthens its position in the PAH space

On 29 June, Liquidia Technologies announced its plans to acquire RareGen, which specialises in strategy, investment, and commercialisation of rare diseases therapies. Upon the completion of the merger, Liquidia and RareGen will operate as Liquidia Corporation. GlobalData believes that this acquisition will be a significant opportunity for Liquidia to expand its rare diseases pipeline, bolster its pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) drug portfolio, and establish the new company as a stronger player in the space.

Despite the availability of multiple treatment options on the market—such as endothelin receptor antagonists (ERAs), PDE5 inhibitors, soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) stimulators, and prostacyclin derivatives—PAH remains a largely incurable and fatal cardiopulmonary disease. Currently, Liquidia’s pipeline features a PAH drug candidate, namely LIQ-861 (treprostinil), a dry powder inhaler, now under FDA regulatory review. The acquisition will give Liquidia the rights to promote RareGen and Sandoz’s first injectable generic version of Remodulin (treprostinil) for treating PAH. Due to its generic status, Liquidia can price generic Remodulin significantly cheaper than all the available alternatives in price-conscious markets and emerging markets. Key opinion leaders interviewed by GlobalData have emphasised that for patients with severe PAH, they would favour Remodulin rather than the available oral therapies.

Therefore through this acquisition, Liquidia will have a significant opportunity to maximise the commercial potential of LIQ-861 and generic Remodulin with the support of RareGen’s PAH-focused sales force and experienced strategy and investment teams.

Acquisitions and licensing agreements are a common trend in the PAH disease space. For example, in October 2006, Gilead Sciences acquired the biopharmaceutical company Myogen for $2.5B, which gave Gilead rights to commercialise ambrisentan. Another active player in the PAH space, United Therapeutics, entered into a lucrative licensing agreement with Eli Lilly in November 2008 for $300M for the US commercialisation rights to tadalafil for the treatment of PAH. Other examples of licensing agreements by United Therapeutics include a co-marketing pact with Mochida Pharmaceuticals in March 2007 for the distribution of Remodulin in Japan.

Under the agreement, Liquidia will complete the acquisition of RareGen for 6.2 million shares of Liquidia Corporation common stock.