On January 10th 2013, BioMarin announced it had acquired the privately held US biotechnology company Zacharon Pharmaceuticals. Zacharon develops small molecules targeting pathways of glycan and glycolipid metabolism. BioMarin has purchased 100% of Zacahron’s shares with a $10m upfront payment combined with regular clinical, regulatory and commercial milestone payments. BioMarin operates in the Rare Disease space where it currently has 4 marketed products and now employs over 1000 personnel worldwide.
Zacharon is currently developing heparin sulfates for Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) III and other MPS disorders such as Tay Sachs Disease and Sandhoff. Zacharon has extensive expertise in glycobiology and has generated additional programmes for treating lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs) which BioMarin expects to further progress over the coming years. BioMarin expects that adding Zacharons two current drug development programmes it will help bolster its pipeline. BioMarin currently has 3 products of its own in Phase I trials and one in Phase III. Adding two more programmes to its pipeline should help to shore up future development. Jean-Jacques Bienaimé, Chief Executive Officer of BioMarin said “We are committed to investing in our advancing pipeline, which has evolved through a combination of internal development and targeted acquisitions, such as this.” BioMarin is expected to absorb the cost of acquiring Zacharon through the course of 2013.
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