Exercising its exclusive option right to acquire Mitobridge under the amended terms of the October 2013 partnership agreement governing their an R&D collaboration focused on discovering and developing novel drugs that target mitochondrial function, Astellas Pharma Inc. will now wholly own US based Mitobridge.
The 2013 partnership agreements between Astellas and Mitobridge were formulated to discover and develop compounds that target mitochondrial function to potentially treat genetic, metabolic or neurodegenerative disorders as well as the conditions of aging. It is currently under Phase 1 clinical studies for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and MA-0211 is the most advanced program that emerged from the collaboration.
According to Yoshihiko Hatanaka, President and CEO, Astellas
“Astellas has increased the involvement in mitochondrial drug discovery through its partnership with Mitobridge and the network of key scientists that the company has assembled. The achievements resulting from the collaboration have exceeded our expectations including the rapid advancement of multiple programs. Through the acquisition of Mitobridge, Astellas accelerates our investment in diseases caused by mitochondria dysfunctions in order to deliver innovative new treatment options to patients.”
Kazumi Shiosaki, Ph.D., President & CEO, and co-founder of Mitobridge commented the following about the acquisition:
“We at Mitobridge are delighted to become part of Astellas’ major initiative to develop new therapies for serious diseases. We are grateful for the tremendous support and guidance from Astellas, MPM Capital, and Longwood Fund that enabled Mitobridge to rapidly build an exciting pipeline. Mitobridge – as a subsidiary of Astellas – will now have additional resources to continue to advance and expand on its achievements to date.”
Astellas will pay Mitobridge an upfront fee of $225 million and additional $225 million depending upon the progress of various programs in clinical development. The closing of the acquisition is subject to customary regulatory approvals and the transaction is expected to be finalized over the next couple of weeks. Astellas is already a shareholder of Mitobridge and therefore the actual payment by Astellas will amount to $165.5 million.
Astellas Pharma manufactures, markets, and imports/exports pharmaceutical products worldwide. The company offers Prograf, an immunosuppressant to prevent rejection in organ transplants; Vesicare, a treatment for overactive bladder; Protopic, a treatment for atopic dermatitis in the topical immunomodulator class; Harnal, a blocking agent to treat the functional symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia; and Funguard, a candin antifungal agent.
Astellas Pharma was founded in 1923 and is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan
About Mitobridge (previously Mitokyne)
Founded in 2001, Mitobridge was founded with seed financing from MPM Capital. Headquartered in Cambridge, MA, USA it later acquired Series A financing from MPM Capital, Longwood Fund and Astellas Pharma in October 2013 with a shared vision for the promise of mitochondrial- targeted therapeutics. It employs 27 employees.