Bioverativ acquires rare disease biotechnology company

Credit: science photo

Bioverativ has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire South San Francisco-based True North Therapeutics, a rare disease biotechnology company, for $400 million.

True North investors are also eligible to receive additional payments of up to $425 million contingent on the achievement of future development, regulatory and sales milestones.

As part of the acquisition, Bioverativ will obtain worldwide rights to True North’s lead candidate – TNT009 – a first-in-class monoclonal antibody in development to treat cold agglutinin disease (CAD).

CAD is a rare and chronic hemolytic condition that often leads to severe anaemia, requiring numerous transfusions, and can result in life-threatening thrombotic events.

There are no approved therapies for CAD, which occurs in approximately 16 people per million globally, including an estimated 5,000 people in the United States.

In May 2017, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted TNT009 breakthrough therapy designation for the treatment of hemolysis in patients with primary CAD, and plans for the full clinical development program, including a registrational program, are underway.

“One of our strategic priorities is to invest thoughtfully in business development with a focus on building our pipeline in areas where we believe we can make a real difference for patients,” said John Cox, CEO of Bioverativ.

He added: “People living with CAD currently have no approved treatment options and suffer with a significant disease burden including crippling fatigue, frequent transfusions and an increased risk of life-threatening thrombotic events such as pulmonary embolism and stroke.

“By combining True North’s industry-leading science in complement biology with Bioverativ’s expertise in hematology and robust clinical and commercial capabilities, we believe we can bring meaningful progress to CAD patients.”