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Astellas Pharma buys Mitobridge under existing collaboration

Saturday, December 2, 2017, 09:00 Hrs  [IST]

Astellas Pharma Inc. and Mitobridge, Inc. announced that Astellas has exercised its exclusive option right to acquire Mitobridge under the amended terms of the October 2013 partnership agreement governing an R&D collaboration focused on discovering and developing novel drugs that target mitochondrial function.  Mitobridge will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Astellas following the close of the acquisition.

Under the 2013 partnership agreements, Astellas and Mitobridge have collaborated to discover and develop compounds that target mitochondrial function. These drug candidates have the potential to treat genetic, metabolic or neurodegenerative disorders as well as conditions of aging. MA-0211, the most advanced program emerging from the collaboration, is currently in phase 1 clinical studies for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).

"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," commented Yoshihiko Hatanaka, president and CEO, Astellas. "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."

"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," said Kazumi Shiosaki, Ph.D., president & CEO, and co-founder of Mitobridge.  "Mitobridge – as a subsidiary of Astellas – will now have additional resources to continue to advance and expand on its achievements to date."

By exercising the option right according to the amended agreement, Astellas will pay an upfront fee of $225 million to acquire Mitobridge. Mitobridge will be eligible for additional payments that total up to $225 million, depending on the progress of various programmes in clinical development. The closing of the acquisition is subject to customary regulatory approvals, and is expected to be finalized in the next several weeks.

The impact of this transaction on Astellas' financial results for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018 will be immaterial.

Astellas Pharma Inc., based in Tokyo, Japan, is a company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products.

Mitobridge is discovering and developing small molecule therapeutics that enhance mitochondrial function and that build upon the emerging scientific findings linking mitochondrial dysfunction with disease pathologies.


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