Pfizer wraps up $810m acquisition of Swiss biotech company Therachon

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Pfizer acquisition of Therachon : US pharma giant Pfizer has completed its previously announced acquisition of Swiss biotech company Therachon, which is focused on rare diseases, in a deal worth up to $810 million, as per the latest pharma acquisition news.

The clinical-stage Therachon is currently engaged in developing treatment of achondroplasia and short bowel syndrome (SBS).

Terms of Pfizer acquisition of Therachon

As per the terms of Pfizer acquisition of Therachon announced in May 2019, the US pharma giant agreed to pay $340 million upfront and a contingent payment of $470 million based on milestones achieved on the development and commercialization of TA-46 for the treatment of achondroplasia. Currently, there are no approved achondroplasia drugs.

TA-46 is a soluble recombinant human fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) decoy, which has been designed to regulate the overactive FGFR3 signaling pathways that underlie bone development abnormalities that are related to achondroplasia. The drug, which has orphan drug designations from both European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for achondroplasia, works by binding to the natural ligands of FGFR3 and prohibiting them from excess activation of the mutated FGFR3.

TA-46 is being developed for children and adolescents living with achondroplasia as a weekly subcutaneous injection.

Pfizer acquisition of Therachon

Pfizer acquisition of Therachon. Photo courtesy of w:ru:jenix89 (talk | contribs) and

Luca Santarelli – CEO of Therachon, commenting on Pfizer acquisition of Therachon, said:  “We are thrilled that the work we have done to discover and advance a novel and potentially life-transforming medicine for achondroplasia is now being continued by Pfizer. With its rare disease expertise and worldwide reach, Pfizer is well positioned to accelerate the development of TA-46 and fulfill Therachon’s vision of addressing the complications suffered by children with achondroplasia by targeting the molecular root causes of this condition.”

As announced before, Therachon has spun out its apraglutide development program into an independent company, called VectivBio. Apraglutide, which is a weekly once GLP-2 analog, is currently in phase 2 development for the treatment of short bowel syndrome. Pfizer Ventures holds a minority stake in VectivBio.

Pfizer acquisition of Therachon is expected to expand the rare diseases portfolio of the former, which includes various research programs for the treatment of pediatric growth disorders.

Seng Cheng – Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Pfizer Rare Disease Research Unit, commenting on Pfizer acquisition of Therachon, said: “Therachon becoming part of Pfizer is representative of our Rare Disease team’s 30-year commitment to develop innovative medicines that address significant unmet medical needs of people with rare diseases.

“With our leading scientific and development capabilities, we believe we can effectively advance the development of TA-46, which has the potential to be a first-in-class therapy for the treatment of achondroplasia.”

Earlier this year, Pfizer opened the Andover Clinical Manufacturing Facility (ACMF), a new 175,000sft biologics clinical manufacturing facility in Andover, Massachusetts, which has been built with an investment of over $200 million.

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