Pfizer to Acquire Therachon In A $810 Million Deal
Pfizer has agreed to acquire Therachon Holdings in a deal of around $810 million. The pact is meant to expand the buyer’s rare disease portfolio with a pipeline to be led by a clinical-phase candidate for the most common form of short-limbed dwarfism.
TA-46 completing Phase I study has received orphan drug designation from the FDA and European Medicines Agency.
Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer CSO and president, worldwide research, development, and medical stated that- By obtaining Therachon, we hope to leverage Pfizer’s leading scientific and development capabilities to more rapidly advance this potentially promising treatment for those who have achondroplasia.
There are currently no treatments which have been approved for achondroplasia – which is a genetic condition that could lead to serious cardiovascular, neurological, and metabolic complications for approximately 250,000 people worldwide.
Therachon CEO Luca Santarelli stated that- With its rare disease expertise and worldwide reach, Pfizer is well positioned to accelerate the growth 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 illness.
Santarelli in a statement stated that- Pfizer is continuing the work they have done to discover and advance a novel and potentially life-transforming medicine for achondroplasia.
Pfizer has agreed to get Therachon for $340 million upfront, and up to an additional $470 million tied in order to achieve development and commercialization milestones for TA-46.
By creating TA-46, Pfizer would be a direct competitor to BioMarin Pharmaceutical, which is developing the Stage III candidate Vosorotide (BMN 111) for achondroplasia.
Vosorotide is the subject of numerous clinical studies which includes two Phase III trials: the first one NCT03197766 which was active but not recruit patient as of May 7; and the second one NCT03424018, which were enrolling by invitation as of the latest update posted July 30, 2018.
TA-46 isn’t furthest along in the current pipeline of Therachon. This distinction belongs to apraglutide a once-weekly GLP-2 analog that is in Phase II development for short bowel syndrome, and in Stage I for uncommon diseases that are gastrointestinal.
However, before it closes its deal to be acquired by Pfizer, Therachon intends to spin off its development program into a separate, independent company. Pfizer’s venture capital arm Pfizer Ventures, which holds a minority stake in Therachon, will hold an equity stake in the firm that is new.
Another Therachon pipeline candidate is being held onto by Pfizer, TA-100, an FGFR3 decoy indicated for achondroplasia and other skeletal dysplasias.
Pfizer Ventures was one of the investors who took part in August 2018 in Therachon’s $60 million mezzanine financing. The whole funding was led by Novo Holdings with Pfizer Ventures among new investors also included Cowen Healthcare Investments and funds which is managed by Tekla Capital Management. Inserm Transfert Initiative and investors Versant Ventures, OrbiMed, Bpifrance were also a part.