Otsuka to Acquire Visterra for $430 Million

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Otsuka Pharmaceutical will acquire Visterra, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing antibody-based therapies, for approximately $430 million.

On July 11, 2018, Otsuka Pharmaceutical, a subsidiary of Otsuka Holdings, and Visterra, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing antibody-based therapies for kidney diseases and other hard-to-treat diseases, announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement in which Otsuka will acquire Visterra for approximately $430 million in an all-cash transaction.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including expiration or termination of the waiting period under United States antitrust laws, and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018. Both companies’ boards of directors have approved the transaction.

Visterra's Hierotope platform consists of novel computational and experimental technologies that enable the design and engineering of precision antibody-based therapies. According to Visterra, the therapies specifically bind to and modulate disease targets that are not adequately addressed by current technologies in antibody therapeutics. Visterra's pipeline includes programs targeting immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy and other kidney diseases, cancer, chronic pain, and infectious diseases.

Once the acquisition is completed, Visterra will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Otsuka America, a US holding company and a wholly owned subsidiary of Otsuka Pharmaceutical. Visterra will continue to operate its business and develop its pipeline in Waltham, MA, as part of Otsuka.


Otsuka's research areas include psychiatric and neurological diseases, hematological cancers, and kidney, cardiovascular, and infectious diseases. Otsuka focuses on proprietary drug discovery and development platforms, including antibody development platforms, as a means to increase the efficiency of drug discovery across its programs and as an addition to conventional R&D processes, as stated by Otsuka.

Source: Otsuka Pharmaceutical