Alexion Pharmaceuticals has agreed to acquire US-based clinical-stage biotechnology firm Syntimmune in a deal valued at around $1.2bn.
Based in Boston of Massachusetts, Syntimmune is engaged in the development of differentiated drug candidates in a range of autoimmune diseases.
As per terms of the deal, Alexion will pay an upfront payment of $400m to Syntimmune, as well as additional milestone-dependent payments of up to $800m.
Alexion Pharmaceuticals CEO Ludwig Hantson said: “Targeting FcRn holds great promise in transforming the treatment of IgG-mediated diseases. SYNT001 has successfully demonstrated proof of mechanism – the ability to rapidly lower IgG levels – in early clinical studies and has the potential to treat a number of rare IgG-mediated diseases.”
Syntimmune is currently developing novel therapies by using its expertise in the biology of the neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn).
The firm’s lead candidate SYNT001 is a humanized monoclonal antibody, which blocks the interaction of FcRn with Immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgG immune complexes, enabling to improve treatment in multiple rare IgG-mediated diseases.
Studies have demonstrated that SYNT001 quickly facilitates clearance of IgG and IgG circulating immune complexes (CICs), enabling to inhibit innate immune responses induced by IgG and CIC and block T-cell and B-cell activation in response to CIC.
At present, the firm is assessing SYNT001 in phase 1b/2a studies in patients with warm autoimmune hemolytic anemia (WAIHA), as well as patients with pemphigus vulgaris (PV) or pemphigus foliaceus (PF).
Subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, the deal is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of this year.
Syntimmune chairman and Apple Tree Partners partner Seth Harrison said: “Since the company’s founding in 2013, the team at Syntimmune has been focused on developing transformative therapies for patients with autoimmune diseases. We see tremendous promise for SYNT001, which is being evaluated in multiple IgG-mediated autoimmune diseases in ongoing clinical trials.”
Alexion is engaged in the discovery, development and commercialization of novel therapies for rare diseases.