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The Wall Street Journal: Pharma giants take interest in acquiring Horizon Therapeutics

Drugmaker Horizon Therapeutics PLC is fielding takeover interest, according to people familiar with the matter, as large pharmaceutical companies compete for fast-growing medicines to fuel sales.

A deal for Horizon HZNP, +0.97%, which develops medicines for rare and immune diseases, would be big. The company has a market value of almost $18 billion and, with a typical takeover premium, could fetch a price well over $20 billion.

Any tie-up, however, is uncertain and a deal may not emerge, the people said.

Horizon is Nasdaq-listed, but headquartered in Ireland and with operations in Dublin, Deerfield, Ill., and a new facility in Rockville, Md. It develops medicines to treat rare autoimmune and severe inflammatory diseases that are currently sold mostly in the U.S. Its biggest drug, Tepezza, is used to treat thyroid eye disease, an affliction characterized by progressive inflammation and damage to tissues around the eyes.

Last year, revenue from the  product more than doubled, driving the company’s overall net sales 47% higher to $3.23 billion. Horizon said this month that annual global net sales of the drug are targeted to eventually peak at more than $4 billion as the company aims to win approval to sell it in Europe and Japan.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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