- Incyte Corp INCY has agreed to acquire Villaris Therapeutics, an asset-centric biopharmaceutical company seeded by Medicxi and focused on developing novel antibody therapeutics for vitiligo, a condition in which the skin loses its pigment cells.
- Its lead asset, auremolimab (VM6), an anti-IL-15Rβ monoclonal antibody (mAb), is expected to enter clinical development in 2023.
- Under the terms of the agreement, Incyte will acquire Villaris and the exclusive global rights to develop and commercialize auremolimab for all uses, including in vitiligo and other autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
- Incyte will make an upfront payment of $70 million, up to $310 million as development and regulatory milestones, and up to an additional $1.05 billion in commercial milestones.
- Auremolimab has demonstrated efficacy as a treatment for vitiligo in preclinical models. IND-enabling studies are currently underway, and clinical development is expected to begin in 2023.
- The acquisition will complement Incyte's existing inflammation and autoimmunity portfolio with potential applications for auremolimab beyond dermatology.
- Incyte already has Opzelura (ruxolitinib), a JAK inhibitor approved in the U.S. for nonsegmental vitiligo and atopic dermatitis.
- INCY held cash and equivalents of $2.7 billion as of June 30, 2022.
- Price Action: INCY shares traded higher by 2.04% at $68.00 on the last check Monday.
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