Alexion to Acquire Achillion
- Adds clinical-stage portfolio of oral small molecule Factor D inhibitors to Alexion’s pipeline -
- Provides opportunity to enhance treatment for PNH patients experiencing extravascular hemolysis (EVH), potential first-in-class C3 glomerulopathy (C3G) therapy & promising development platform for Factor D inhibition in additional alternative pathway complement-mediated rare diseases -
- Initial all-cash transaction for
- Conference call and webcast scheduled for today,
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“Alexion has demonstrated the transformative impact that inhibiting C5 can have on multiple rare and devastating diseases. However, we believe this is just the beginning of what’s possible with complement inhibition,” said
“We have established great momentum – discovering and advancing several small molecules into clinical development that have the potential to treat immune-related diseases associated with the alternative pathway of the complement system,” said
The initial consideration of approximately
Alexion’s acquisition of Achillion is subject to the approval of Achillion shareholders and satisfaction of customary closing conditions and approval from relevant regulatory agencies, including clearance under the Hart-Scott Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act. Pending these approvals, the transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2020.
Alexion will host a conference call and webcast today,
About Factor D
Factor D is an essential serine protease and critical control point in the alternative pathway (AP) of the complement system, a part of the innate immune system. Achillion’s complement platform is focused on advancing oral small molecules that inhibit the AP and can potentially be used in the treatment of immune-related diseases in which complement AP plays a critical role. Potential indications currently being evaluated for these compounds include PNH, C3G and immune complex-mediated membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (IC-MPGN).
About Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH)
PNH is a chronic, progressive, debilitating and life-threatening ultra-rare blood disorder characterized by hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells) that is mediated by uncontrolled activation of the complement system, a component of the body’s immune system. Patients with PNH may experience a wide range of signs and symptoms, such as fatigue, difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, erectile dysfunction, dark-colored urine and anemia. The most devastating consequence of chronic hemolysis is thrombosis, which can occur in blood vessels throughout the body, damaging vital organs and causing premature death. PNH is primarily a disease of intravascular hemolysis (IVH), where the red blood cell destruction occurs within the blood vessels. C5 inhibition addresses the complications of IVH and the increases in LDH that cause thrombosis and even death in patients with PNH. However, a small portion of patients – less than 10 percent – receiving a C5 inhibitor continue to experience clinical extravascular hemolysis (EVH), where the red blood cell destruction occurs outside the blood vessels. As a result, these patients are transfusion dependent despite treatment but do not have bone marrow failure or aplastic anemia. Inhibiting Factor D in the alternative pathway (AP) of the complement system offers the possibility of selectively blocking AP activity and protecting against the destruction of RBCs, while leaving the rest of the complement system intact to fight infection.
About C3 Glomerulopathy (C3G)
C3G is an ultra-rare kidney disease for which there is no approved treatment. The disease is characterized by the deposition of C3 protein fragments in the filtering units (glomeruli) of the kidney, caused by overactivation of the complement alternative pathway (AP). Over time, the chronic deposition of C3 fragments results in permanent kidney damage and kidney failure. Today, C3G patients are treated with steroids and broad-acting immunosuppressants to slow the progression of kidney damage. Oral Factor D inhibitors have demonstrated proof-of-mechanism to interrupt the overactivation of the AP and reduce C3 fragment deposition, providing a potential treatment approach for targeting the underlying cause of C3G.
Alexion is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on serving patients and families affected by rare diseases through the discovery, development and commercialization of life-changing therapies. As the global leader in complement biology and inhibition for more than 20 years, Alexion has developed and commercializes two approved complement inhibitors to treat patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) as well as the first and only approved complement inhibitor to treat atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), anti-acetylcholine receptor (AchR) antibody-positive generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG) and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD). Alexion also has two highly innovative enzyme replacement therapies for patients with life-threatening and ultra-rare metabolic disorders, hypophosphatasia (HPP) and lysosomal acid lipase deficiency (LAL-D). In addition, the company is developing several mid-to-late-stage therapies, including a second complement inhibitor, a copper-binding agent for Wilson disease and an anti-neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) antibody for rare Immunoglobulin G (IgG)-mediated diseases as well as several early-stage therapies, including one for light chain (AL) amyloidosis and a second anti-FcRn therapy. Alexion focuses its research efforts on novel molecules and targets in the complement cascade and its development efforts on the core therapeutic areas of hematology, nephrology, neurology, and metabolic disorders. Alexion has been named to the Forbes’ list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies seven years in a row and is headquartered in
Achillion is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on advancing its oral small molecule complement inhibitors into late-stage development and commercialization. Research has shown that an overactive complement system plays a critical role in multiple disease conditions including the therapeutic areas of nephrology, hematology, ophthalmology and neurology. Achillion is initially focusing its drug development activities on complement-mediated diseases where there are no approved therapies or where existing therapies are inadequate for patients. Potential indications being evaluated for its compounds include paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), C3 glomerulopathy (C3G), and immune complex membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (IC-MPGN). The company has received Breakthrough Therapy designation for danicopan for treatment in combination with a C5 monoclonal antibody for patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) who are sub-optimal responders to a C5 inhibitor alone. Each of the product candidates in the company’s oral small molecule portfolio was discovered in its laboratories and is wholly owned. To advance its investigational product candidates into Phase 3 clinical trials and commercialization, the company plans to work closely with key stakeholders including healthcare professionals, patients, regulators and payors. More information is available at http://www.achillion.com.
This press release includes forward-looking statements related to the proposed acquisition of Achillion by Alexion, including: the acquisition provides an opportunity to enhance treatment for PNH patients experiencing extravascular hemolysis (EVH); therapeutic benefits of Achillion products, including potential first-in-class C3 glomerulopathy (C3G) therapy and promising development platform for Factor D inhibition in additional alternative pathway complement-mediated rare diseases; Alexion believes its work on C5 complement inhibition is just the beginning of what’s possible with complement inhibition; Alexion believes inhibiting a different part of the complement pathway has the opportunity to help patients with diseases not currently addressed through C5 inhibition; using its complement inhibitor platform, Achillion has several small molecules in clinical development that have the potential to treat immune-related diseases associated with the alternative pathway of the complement system; Alexion believes there is significant opportunity for Factor D inhibition in the treatment of other diseases as well; Alexion will ensure the broad promise of Achillion’s approach is fully realized; the anticipated closing date of the acquisition; and Achillion’s complement platform is focused on advancing oral small molecules that inhibit the AP and can potentially be used in the treatment of immune-related diseases in which complement AP plays a critical role. A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements, including: the risk that the proposed acquisition of Achillion by Alexion may not be completed; the failure to receive the required stockholder approval necessary to complete the acquisition; the failure (or delay) to receive the required regulatory approvals of the proposed acquisition; the failure of the closing conditions set forth in the acquisition agreement to be satisfied (or waived); the anticipated benefits of the Achillion platform and therapies not being realized; future clinical trials of Achillion products not proving that the therapies are safe and effective to the level required by regulators; decisions of regulatory authorities regarding the adequacy of the research and clinical tests, marketing approval or material limitations on the marketing of Achillion products; delays or failure of product candidates to obtain regulatory approval; delays or the inability to launch product candidates due to regulatory restrictions; unanticipated expenses; interruptions or failures in the manufacture and supply of products and product candidates; failure to satisfactorily address matters raised by the
Additional Information about the Proposed Transaction and Where to Find It
In connection with the proposed transaction, Achillion will file a proxy statement on Schedule 14A with the
Participants in the Solicitation
This communication does not constitute a solicitation of a proxy from any stockholder with respect to the proposed transaction. However, Alexion, Achillion and their respective directors and executive officers may be considered participants in the solicitation of proxies in connection with the proposed transaction. Information about the directors and executive officers of Alexion is set forth in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended
Megan Goulart, 857-338-8634
Senior Director, Corporate Communications
Susan Altschuller, Ph.D., 857-338-8788
Vice President, Investor Relations
Susanne Heinzinger, 215-709-3032
Senior VP, Corporate Communications
A. Clayton Robertson, 215-709-3078
Manager, Investor Relations