San Rafael-based pharmaceutical company BioMarin announced Monday that it acquired a private biotechnology company in San Diego for $10 million.
Zacharon Pharmaceuticals develops drug therapy for several diseases, including Tay Sachs and Sandhoff, with the use of glycobiology — the research of natural sugar chains or glycans in the human body. The acquisition paired with BioMarin's research could lead to more treatment of lysosonal storage disorders, inherited defects in how a person's cells deconstruct waste and can lead to symptoms like seizures, blindness, developmental delays and more.
"Zacharon's deep expertise in glycobiology has generated additional programs for treating lysosomal storage disorders that we expect to progress, and we will leverage that expertise to continue to build BioMarin's existing research and development pipeline into a sustainably leading pipeline," said Hank Fuchs, executive vice president and chief medical officer of BioMarin.
Under the terms of the stock purchase agreement, BioMarin paid $10 million upfront for 100 percent of Zacharon's share capital and may make potential additional payments for clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones.
BioMarin develops and commercializes pharmaceuticals for serious diseases and medical conditions. In November 2012, the company's shares hit an all-time high after it announced a successful clinical trial for a rare genetic disease called Morguio A Syndrome, which causes skeletal and joint problems as well as hearing loss, clouded vision and heart valve disease. The company's stock was valued at $52.45 a share as of Monday afternooon.
"The acquisition of Zacharon will further expand our glycobiology expertise and will support our lysosomal storage disease drug development efforts," BioMarin CEO Jean-Jacques Bienaim 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."