Biopharmaceuticals company BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. has agreed to acquire Prosensa Holding N.V., a drug developer with a focus on rare neuromuscular and neurodegenerative disorders.

The transaction will provide BioMarin with worldwide rights to multiple orphan-drug candidates, including the Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) drug candidate drisapersen. In addition, Prosensa has a pipeline of several potential products that leverage its proprietary RNA-modulating technology platform for the treatment of various genotypes of DMD and other genetic disorders.

Under the terms of the agreement BioMarin will pay $17.75 per share, or a total of approximately $680 million, for all of the outstanding ordinary shares of Prosensa.

Two further milestone payments of approximately $80 million will be payable upon the approval of drisapersen in the United States no later than May 15, 2016 and in Europe no later than February 15, 2017, respectively. That would take the total acquisition price to $840 million.

BioMarin will also purchase from Prosensa a $50 million convertible note, which will automatically convert into 4,395,914 shares of Prosensa's stock if the transaction fails to close for any reason.

BioMarin CEO Jean-Jacques Bienaimè said that the company was committed to working closely with regulatory authorities worldwide to bring drisapersen, a potentially breakthrough therapy, to DMD patients as quickly as possible.

"Further, if we are successful in advancing drisapersen to early regulatory approvals, we believe this transaction would be accretive to operating and GAAP profitability in 2017," Bienaimè added.

Drisapersen is currently under review as part of a New Drug Application process and has been given Orphan, Fast Track and Breakthrough Therapy designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).