Baxter International has announced the signature of the definitive agreement to acquire the pegaspargase product portfolio from Sigma-Tau Finanziaria. By mid-year, Baxter expects to establish the BioScience business as a separate, publicly traded, innovation-oriented biopharmaceutical company, Baxalta Incorporated.

The acquisition further accelerates the innovation capabilities and the commercial presence of Baxter BioScience in growing oncology markets for rare and orphan diseases. The company gains the leading marketed biologic treatment pegaspargase, the investigational biologic calaspargase pegol, and an established oncology infrastructure with clinical and sales resources.

Pegaspargase is a first-line biologic used as part of a multi-agent chemotherapy regimen to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). It is currently marketed in the United States, Germany, Poland and certain other countries and has approximately USD $100 million in annual sales.