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The acquisition deepens Astellas’ involvement in the development of a pipeline of therapeutics focused on mitochondrial function.
On Nov. 30, 2017, Astellas Pharma announced that it acquired Mitobridge, a US-based biotech start-up focused on discovering and developing small-molecule therapeutics that enhance mitochondrial function, in a deal worth up to $450 million. Mitobridge will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Astellas following the close of the acquisition.
According to the agreement, Astellas will pay an upfront fee of $225 million to acquire Mitobridge. Mitobridge will also be eligible to receive additional payments that total up to $225 million, depending on the progress of various programs in clinical development. The acquisition closing is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to be finalized over the next several weeks.
Prior to the acquisition, the companies had a partnership agreement, started in 2013, under which they collaborated to discover and develop compounds that target mitochondrial function. The drug candidates they developed have the potential to treat genetic, metabolic, or neurodegenerative disorders as well as conditions of aging. The companies’ most advanced program is currently in Phase I clinical studies for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).
“Astellas has increased the involvement in mitochondrial drug discovery through its partnership with Mitobridge and the network of key scientists that the company has assembled. The achievements resulting from the collaboration have exceeded our expectations including the rapid advancement of multiple programs,” said Yoshihiko Hatanaka, president and CEO, Astellas, in a company press release. “Through the acquisition of Mitobridge, Astellas accelerates our investment in diseases caused by mitochondria dysfunctions in order to deliver innovative new treatment options to patients.”
Source: Astellas Pharma