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Pfizer Buys Rare Disease Biotech Therachon For $340M

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Pfizer Buys Rare Disease Biotech Therachon For $340M

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) said Wednesday that it reached a definitive agreement to acquire all the shares of Therachon Holding AG, a privately held clinical-stage biotech focused on rare diseases.

What Happened

Pfizer said it will acquire Therachon for $340 million upfront with an additional $470 million in additional payments that hinge on milestones in the development and commercialization of TA-46 for the treatment of achondroplasia, a genetic condition and the most common form of short-limbed dwarfism.

Why It's Important

Therachon's TA-46 has completed Phase 1 development and has received Orphan Drug Designation from the European Medicines Agency and the FDA for treatment of achondroplasia. 

“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,” Mikael Dolsten — Pfizer's chief scientific officer and president for worldwide research, development, and medical — said in a statement. 

“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.”

What's Next

Therachon has been working on a once-weekly  GLP-2 analog that is in Phase 2 development for short bowel syndrome. The company said it plans to spin-off its apraglutide development program into a separate, independent company prior to the closing of the transaction with Pfizer.

Pfizer's venture capital arm Pfizer Ventures holds a minority stake and will continue to hold an equity stake in the business, according to Wednesday's announcement. 

Pfizer shares were down 0.29 percent at $40.71 at the time of publication. 

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