Alexion completes Syntimmune acquisition

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Alexion Pharmaceuticals has completed its acquisition of Syntimmune, in a deal that adds a key clinical-stage antibody to its pipeline.

As reported back in September, Alexion will pay an upfront payment of $400 million, with the potential for additional milestone-dependent payments of up to $800 million.

The deal sees it take charge of SYNT001, a humanised monoclonal antibody that inhibits the interaction of neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) with Immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgG immune complexes with the potential to treat several rare IgG-mediated diseases.

“We’ve made significant progress rebuilding our pipeline this year, and the acquisition of Syntimmune is another critical step in continuing to expand and diversify our portfolio,” said Alexion CEO Ludwig Hantson.

“We’re very excited to continue the development of SYNT001, which we believe holds great promise in transforming patient care across a number of rare IgG-mediated diseases.

“We are rapidly advancing the current development programs and look forward to beginning two pivotal programs next year, including one in warm autoimmune hemolytic anaemia.”

SYNT001 is currently being evaluated in Phase 1b/2a studies in patients with warm autoimmune hemolytic anemia (WAIHA) and in patients with pemphigus vulgaris (PV) or pemphigus foliaceus (PF) and has demonstrated proof of mechanism showing rapid IgG reduction.

Alexion said it plans to initiate two pivotal trials in 2019 – one in WAIHA, following successful completion of the current Phase 1b/2a study, and one in an undisclosed indication.