Astellas to Acquire Audentes for $3 Billion

December 3, 2019

The acquisition aids in the expansion of the Astellas Focus Area approach, which involves the creation of medicines for diseases with high unmet medical needs by identifying combinations of biology, therapeutic modality and technology based on emerging science.

Astellas Pharma, a pharmaceutical company based in Tokyo, Japan, announced on Dec. 2, 2019 that it is acquiring Audentes Therapeutics, a San Francisco, CA-based genetic medicines company, for $60.00 per share in cash, totaling up to approximately $3 billion.

According to an Audentes press release, the acquisition aids in the expansion of the Astellas Focus Area approach, which involves the creation of medicines for diseases with high unmet medical needs by identifying combinations of biology, therapeutic modality, and technology based on emerging science. Astellas will also add a genetic regulation primary focus area into its investment, which will focus on gene therapy.

Other benefits of the acquisition include:

  • The development of AT132 for the treatment of X-linked myotubular myopathy (XLMTM), a neuromuscular disease that is characterized by muscle weakness, respiratory failure, and early death.

  • By combining Astellas’ scientific capabilities and global resources with Audentes’ adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy technology platform, in-house large-scale cGMP manufacturing, and neuromuscular development expertise, the companies have the potential to develop best-in-class genetic medicines for rare neuromuscular diseases

  • Additional gene therapy partnerships and pipeline expansion through Audentes’ manufacturing capabilities and professional relationships.

“Recent scientific and technological advances in genetic medicine have advanced the potential to deliver unprecedented and sustained value to patients, and even to curing diseases with a single intervention,” said Kenji Yasukawa, president and CEO, Astellas, in the press release. “Audentes has developed a robust pipeline of promising product candidates which are complementary to our existing pipeline, including its lead program AT132 for the treatment of X-[l]inked [m]yotubular [m]opathy (XLMTM). By joining together with Audentes’ talented team, we are establishing a leading position in the field of gene therapy with the goal of addressing the unmet needs of patients living with serious, rare diseases.”

“We are very pleased to enter into this merger agreement with Astellas,” added Matthew R. Patterson, chairman and CEO of Audentes, in the press release. “With its focus on innovative science and a global network of research, development, and commercialization resources, we believe that operating as part of the Astellas organization optimally positions us to advance our pipeline programs and serve our patients.”

Source: Audentes