New York-based multinational pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of the shares in Swiss biotechnology firm Therachon. Headquartered in Basel, Therachon is a privately-held clinical-stage medical technology developer with a mission focus on rare diseases, with assets in development for the treatment of achondroplasia and short bowel syndrome.
The deal will see Pfizer pay an upfront consideration of US$340mn for Therachon, with an additional $470mn in additional payments contingent on the achievement of key milestones in the development and commercialization of key products in the Therachon pipeline.
Chief among the products under development by Therachon is TA-46, an experimental treatment for achondroplasia, a genetic condition and the most common form of short-limbed dwarfism. Therachon is developing TA-46 as a weekly subcutaneous injection for children and adolescents living with the condition.
“At Pfizer, our strategy is focused on advancing the most promising science in the world, regardless of whether it is found inside or outside of our labs,” said Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer Chief Scientific Officer and President, Worldwide Research, Development, and Medical. “By acquiring Therachon, we hope to leverage Pfizer’s leading scientific and development capabilities to more rapidly advance this potentially promising therapy for people with achondroplasia.”
Prior to the closing of the transaction with Pfizer, 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.
The acquisition complements Pfizer’s existing research portfolio in rare diseases. “Through the acquisition of Therachon, we believe that we have a significant opportunity to transform the lives of young people with achondroplasia who courageously endure lifelong complications from short-limb dwarfism,” said Seng Cheng, Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Pfizer’s Rare Disease Research Unit. “Pfizer’s existing research programs for pediatric growth disorders provide a complementary setting for this potential breakthrough therapy.”