Alexion continues rare disease M&A with Syntimmune acquisition

By Flora Southey

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/AndreyPopov)
(Image: Getty/AndreyPopov)

Related tags Rare disease Syntimmune Alexion

Alexion has agreed to pay up to $1.2bn for Syntimmune and its lead asset SNT001, a monoclonal antibody designed to treat warm autoimmune haemolytic anaemia.

According to the terms, Alexion Pharmaceuticals will acquire Massachusetts-based Syntimmune for $400m ($346m), with potential milestone payments of up to $800m for its investigational therapy.

The acquisition marks Alexion’s second major investment in its pipeline this year, after the company agreed to pay $855m​ for Wilson Therapeutics and its lead candidate WTX101, designed to treat Wilson disease.

SYNT001 is a monoclonal antibody in ongoing Phase Ib/IIa development to treat warm autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (WAIHA). The asset is designed to inhibit the interaction of the neonatal Fc Receptor (FcRn) with Immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgG immune complexes.

“WAIHA is a rare autoimmune disorder caused by pathogenic IgG antibodies that react with and cause the premature destruction of red blood cells at normal body temperature,” ​explained Alexion CEO Ludwig Hantson in an investor call last week.

“The disease is often characterised by profound and potentially life-threatening anaemia and other acute complications. There are currently no approved treatments for WAIHA,” ​he added.

According to Hantson, the company sees potential for SYNT001 to be applied to a number of indications.

“We have already decided to move forward in WAIHA, and are evaluating which additional rare diseases we will target for SYNT001 development,” ​he said.

The company plans to initiate a second programme in an undisclosed indication next year, he added.

Related topics Bio Developments Pipelines

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