AstraZeneca’s rare disease unit Alexion will acquire gene editing specialist LogicBio Therapeutics in a small buyout deal, the companies announced Monday.
Under the terms of the agreement, Alexion will acquire all of LogicBio’s outstanding shares for $2.07 each, representing a total deal value of about $68 million. The purchase price equates to a premium of more than 600% on LogicBio’s closing share price of $0.27 Friday.
The acquisition, which is expected to close in four to six weeks, will expand Alexion’s foothold in gene editing, an area its parent AstraZeneca has begun to explore.
For LogicBio, the deal is an attractive exit after several years of stock price declines. In 2018, the Lexington, Mass.-based company raised $70 million in initial public offering priced at $10 per share. But LogicBio had since lost almost all of its market value, and last month received a warning from Nasdaq that it would be delisted from the exchange.
Around the same time, LogicBio announced its chief financial officer would be leaving the company, although she later agreed to advise the company for three months after her exit.
LogicBio is developing gene editing treatments for rare diseases and has previously partnered with several Asian drug developers including Daiichi Sankyo, Takeda and Canbridge. Instead of CRISPR-based gene editing, however, it relies on another biological process known as homologous recombination as the basis of its “Gene Ride” platform. It’s also developing a gene delivery platform it has dubbed “sAAVy” and claims it can improve on existing approaches.
Alexion, which was acquired by AstraZeneca in 2021, can now put LogicBio’s tools towards its own research and development. According to a statement, Alexion will retain LogicBio’s employees at their current location. At the end of last year, the biotech employed 62 staff.
Correction: A previous version of this story included the wrong initial public offering price for LogicBio’s shares.