Vertex to acquire Semma Therapeutics to advance stem cell-based treatments for type 1 diabetes

Vertex acquisition of Semma Therapeutics : US biotechnology company Vertex Pharmaceuticals has agreed to acquire privately-held biotechnology company Semma Therapeutics for $950 million in cash, as per the latest pharma acquisition news.

Both the pharma companies are based in Massachusetts. Post-acquisition, Vertex Pharmaceuticals will advance curative cell-based treatments of Semma Therapeutics for type 1 diabetes and expand its cutting edge technologies and capabilities.

Semma Therapeutics has pioneered the use of stem cell-derived human islets to treat type 1 diabetes, a serious disease affecting more than one million people in the US alone.

Bastiano Sanna – President and CEO of Semma Therapeutics, commenting on Vertex acquisition of Semma Therapeutics, said:  “Vertex has a proven track record of serial innovation and a deep commitment to developing transformative therapies for patients in need. Being a part of Vertex will allow the Semma team to rapidly and effectively advance our cell therapy and delivery approaches to patients who need them.”

Vertex acquisition of Semma Therapeutics

Vertex acquires Semma Therapeutics – Vertex acquisition of Semma Therapeutics | Pharma acquisition news

The two major scientific advances made by Semma Therapeutics include the production process of pancreatic islet cells with a proprietary delivery system to restore insulin secretion in type 1 diabetes patients and a new device to protect these cells from the immune system for durable implantation.

Commenting on Vertex acquisition of Semma Therapeutics, David Altshuler – executive vice president, global research and chief scientific officer, Vertex Pharmaceuticals said: “The therapeutic approach pioneered by Semma has the potential to address the causal human biology of type 1 diabetes, a serious disease inadequately controlled by existing therapies.

“Unlike insulin injections and insulin pumps, islet cell transplantation can provide physiologic regulation of blood glucose thereby potentially ameliorating or preventing both the hyperglycemic and hypoglycemic episodes associated with the current standards of care.

“Their compelling proof-of-concept data in animals demonstrates the opportunity to develop transformative and potentially curative therapies to treat people with type 1 diabetes.”

Semma Therapeutics will become a separate operating subsidiary of Vertex Pharmaceuticals under the terms of the acquisition.

Subject to certain closing conditions, including the expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and other customary conditions, Vertex acquisition of Semma Therapeutics is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals said it will provide any appropriate updates to its current 2019 financial guidance in conjunction with its third-quarter 2019 earnings release or upon closing the transaction, whichever occurs later.

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