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RARX Gets Acquired, Clinuvel Jumps On FDA Approval, Lycopene & Sperm Quality

pharma 051717 10oct19 lt

Today's Daily Dose brings you news about the acquisition of Ra Pharmaceuticals by UCB; the FDA approval of Clinuvel Pharma's SCENESSE for the treatment of erythropoietic protoporphyria in adults; and an interesting finding about a compound found in cooked tomatoes and sperm quality.

Read on…

Ra Pharmaceuticals Inc. (RARX) is all set to be acquired by Belgium-based UCB for US$48 per share in cash in a transaction valued at US$ 2.1 billion. The cash consideration represents an approximately 93% premium to Ra Pharma shareholders based on the 30-day volume-weighted average closing stock price of Ra Pharma prior to signing.

Ra Pharma's lead product candidate is Zilucoplan, a once-daily self-administered, subcutaneous peptide inhibitor of C5 in a phase III trial in patients with generalized myasthenia gravis, with top-line results expected in early 2021. Zilucoplan also has the potential in the treatment of immune-mediated necrotizing myopathy (IMNM), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other tissue-based complement-mediated disorders with a high unmet medical need.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of Q1 2020.

Shares of Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals Limited (CLVLY.OB) touched an all-time high of $27.80 in intraday trading on Wednesday, following FDA approval of SCENESSE for the treatment of erythropoietic protoporphyria in adults.

Erythropoietic protoporphyria, or EPP, is characterized by an extreme risk of severe burns (phototoxicity) of the skin, following exposure to bright lights, especially sunlight.

SCENESSE was approved in Europe as an orphan medicinal product for this indication in 2014 and was launched in June 2016.

The drug is administered subcutaneously as an implant once every 2 months prior to expected and during increased sunlight exposure, e.g. from spring to early autumn. The recommended maximum number of implants is four per year.

CLVLY.OB closed Wednesday's trading at $26.80, up 43.70%.

A simple diet supplement containing Lycopene, a compound found in cooked tomatoes, can boost sperm quality, suggests a study by the University of Sheffield.

According to the researchers, men taking LactoLycopene, a commercially available formulation of Lycopene, had almost 40 percent more fast swimming sperm with improvements to sperm size and shape. The finding was based on a 12-week trial, which involved 60 healthy volunteers aged 19 to 30.

The researchers plan to repeat the trial in men with fertility problems and see if LactoLycopene can increase sperm quality for those men and whether it helps couples conceive and avoid invasive fertility treatments.

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