USA: Expansion of Rare Disease Portfolio Pfizer Acquires Biotech Company Therachon
Pfizer has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all the shares of Therachon, a privately-held clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on rare diseases. Under the terms of the agreement, the US-company will pay $ 340 million upfront with an additional $ 470 million in additional payments contingent.
New York/USA — With the acquisition of Therachon, Pfizer complements its existing research portfolio in rare diseases such as achondroplasia. That is why the group will pay an additional contingent on the achievement of key milestones in the development and commercialization of TA-46 for the treatment of achondroplasia, a genetic condition and the most common form of short-limbed dwarfism. Achondroplasia can result in serious cardiovascular, neurological and metabolic complications for approximately 250,000 people worldwide. There are currently no approved treatments for achondroplasia.
TA-46 is an investigational, soluble recombinant human fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) decoy, a mechanism of action that is believed to normalize the overactive FGFR3 signaling pathways that underlie bone development abnormalities associated with achondroplasia. Therachon is developing TA-46 as a weekly subcutaneous injection for children and adolescents living with the condition. TA-46 has completed Phase 1 and has received Orphan Drug Designation from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Prior to the closing of the transaction, Therachon will spin-off its apraglutide development program into a separate, independent company. Apraglutide is a once-weekly, potential best-in-class GLP-2 analog in Phase 2 development for short bowel syndrome. Pfizer Ventures, the venture capital arm of Pfizer Inc., currently holds a minority stake and will continue to hold an equity stake in the new company.