Alexion to acquire Boston-based Syntimmune in $1.2bn deal

Alexion acquisition of Syntimmune : US pharma company Alexion Pharmaceuticals has signed a deal of around $1.2 billion to acquire Syntimmune, a Boston-based clinical-stage biotech company focused on developing drugs for autoimmune diseases.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, on the other hand, is a multi-national biopharma company engaged in developing drugs to treat rare diseases.

Alexion acquisition of Syntimmune

Under the terms of Alexion acquisition of Syntimmune, the biopharma company will pay $400 million as upfront payment to Syntimmune, followed by additional milestone-based payments of up to $800 million in the future.

Syntimmune is developing antibody therapeutics that target the neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn). Its lead drug – SYNT001 is a humanized monoclonal antibody that has been designed to inhibit the interaction between FcRn and the Immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgG immune complexes, thereby improving treatment in various rare IgG-mediated diseases.

Commenting on Alexion acquisition of Syntimmune, Ludwig Hantson – CEO of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, 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.”

Alexion acquisition of Syntimmune
Alexion acquisition of Syntimmune. Image courtesy of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc./Business Wire, Inc.

According to Ludwig Hantson, Alexion acquisition of Syntimmune represents a key step in rebuilding the pipeline of the global pharma company and further diversifying its clinical-stage rare disease portfolio.

Ludwig Hantson added: “It offers a strong strategic fit with Alexion’s existing rare disease franchises and provides the opportunity to transform patient care in diseases like warm autoimmune hemolytic anemia, where SYNT001 is the first, and currently the only, anti-FcRn therapy in clinical development.”

SYNT001, which is being studied in phase 1b/2a trials in warm autoimmune hemolytic anemia (WAIHA) and pemphigus vulgaris (PV) or pemphigus foliaceus (PF), has shown proof of mechanism by rapidly reducing IgG.

Seth Harrison – Chairman of Syntimmune and Managing Partner of Apple Tree Partners, commenting on Alexion acquisition of Syntimmune, 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’s demonstrated rare disease expertise and development and commercial capabilities provide an ideal foundation for continued advancement of SYNT001 and, we believe, will ensure its broad potential is realized.”

Alexion acquisition of Syntimmune will have to meet customary closing conditions, including necessary approvals, following which it is likely to be wrapped up in Q4 2018.

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