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ViroPharma to purchase Lev in $600 million-plus deal


EXTON, Pa. ViroPharma will buy biotech company Lev Pharmaceutical, in a deal worth up to $617.5 million in cash and stock, according to published reports. ViroPharma will pay $442.9 million upfront and may pay an additional $174.6 million if Lev’s drug candidate Cinryze meets certain milestones.

In a conference call, ViroPharma chief executive officer Vincent Milano said peak sales of Cinryze could reach at least $250 million to $300 million per year if the drug is approved both as a preventive treatment and a treatment for acute cases.

The Food and Drug Administration is reviewing Cinryze as a preventive treatment for hereditary angioedema, which cause severe swelling, and a panel has recommended the drug be approved.

ViroPharma said about 10,000 people have the disease in the U.S., but only 4,600 have been diagnosed. This has led the FDA to grant Cinryze orphan drug status, which is given to medications that treat illnesses that affect less than 200,000 people in the U.S.

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