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French Ipsen falls after Epizyme take-over announcement

Shares of French drugmaker Ipsen fell by 4.4% at Euronext Paris after the company announced to take over US cancer specialist Epizyme Inc. for $247m.

Even if Ipsen succeeds in halving the losses at Epizyme Inc, this would reduce the group’s profit by nine percent by 2024, Credit Suisse analysts predicted. In contrast, Epizyme shares rose nearly 60 percent to $1.50 in premarket US trading. Ipsen is offering $1.45 per share, a take over offering of $247m to acquire the cancer drug developer an additional $170 million if Epizyme’s cancer drug candidate Tazverik gsind full market approval as treatment for soft tissue sarcoma and lymphoma.

Though Tazverik was conditionally approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2020 as treatment for the rare condition epithelial sarcoma and follicular lymphoma, Epizyme earned only $31m in sales last year, and announced a net loss of $250m, because of small patient populations in sarcoma and competing treatments in the lymphoma market. The company thus had to cut jobs.

However, Ipsen sees huge market potential, if the drug wins full FDA approval in both indications.