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Pfizer acquires Basel-based Therachon

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Pfizer acquires Basel-based Therachon

09 May 2019

U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer is acquiring Basel biotech Therachon for US$ 340 million. Additional payments of US$ 470 million may also be received on the achievement of key milestones. Therachon has developed a drug for the treatment of a form of short-limbed dwarfism.

Drug discovery (img: motorolka_10/shutterstock)

Therachon Holding AG has developed products for the treatment of achondroplasia and short bowel syndrome. These include product candidate TA-46 for the treatment of achondroplasia, “a genetic condition and the most common form of short-limbed dwarfism”, as was reported in a press release from Pfizer. The U.S. pharmaceutical company is acquiring Basel-based Therachon for US$ 340 million and has also committed itself to an additional US$ 470 million in payments contingent on the achievement of key milestones in the development and commercialization of TA-46. Prior to the closing of the transaction, Therachon will “spin-off its apraglutide development program into a separate, independent company”. This program for short bowel syndrome is currently in Phase 2 development. Pfizer will be involved in this company via Pfizer Ventures.

“At Pfizer, our strategy is focused on advancing the most promising science in the world, regardless of whether it is found inside or outside of our labs,” commented Mikael Dolsten, Chief Scientific Officer and President of Worldwide Research, Development and Medical at Pfizer. “By acquiring Therachon, we hope to leverage Pfizer’s leading scientific and development capabilities to more rapidly advance this potentially promising therapy for people with achondroplasia.”

Achondroplasia currently affects approximately 250,000 people worldwide and there are currently no approved treatments. TA-46 developed by Therachon has completed clinical phase 1 and received Orphan Drug Designation from the European Medicines Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “Therachon is a great example of the value that can be built from cutting edge European science,” said Tom Woiwode, Chairman and Managing Director of Versant Ventures, one of the founding investors in Therachon. Luca Santarelli, CEO of Therachon, adds: “We look forward to Pfizer continuing to develop TA-46 in the hope that it will significantly improve the lives of children suffering from achondroplasia.”

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