AstraZeneca’s Alexion acquires genomic medicine company

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Astrazeneca Gene editing Gene therapy

Alexion, AstraZeneca Rare Disease will acquire LogicBio Therapeutics, an American genomic medicine company.

Lexington, Mass.-based LogicBio has developed technology platforms for the delivery and insertion of genes to address genetic diseases, as well as a platform designed to improve viral vector manufacturing processes.

Its foundational platform technology, GeneRide, differs from traditional gene therapy in that it harnesses the cell’s natural DNA repair process to integrate a corrective gene directly into the patient’s chromosomes: potentially offering a durable therapeutic benefit from a single treatment. 

AstraZeneca is proposing to buy LogicBio at a rare 660% premium, with the deal worth $68m, according to Reuters​.

First acquisition for Alexion, AstraZeneca Rare Disease

LogicBio's initial focus has been on pediatric patients: targeting rare liver disorders where it is ‘critically important’ to treat patients before irreversible damage occurs. Its pipeline includes gene editing and gene therapy programs; with the most advanced being in a Phase 1-2 clinical trial (the gene editing LB-001 program in pediatric patients with severe methylmalonic acidemia). 

Boston-headquartered Alexion says that these platforms - coupled with LogicBio’s experienced team and Alexion’s own advancements with AstraZeneca - will ‘drive future scientific possibilities and next generation medicines’ to treat rare genetic diseases. 

LogicBio's most advanced program, LB-001, is designed to non-disruptively knock-in a corrective copy of the methylmalonyl-CoA mutase (MMUT) gene into the albumin locus to drive lifelong therapeutic levels of MMUT expression in the liver.

LB-001 is based on the company's proprietary GeneRide technology, which uses homologous recombination, a natural DNA repair process, to enable precise editing of the genome without the need for exogenous nucleases and promoters that have been associated with an increased risk of immune response and cancer.

Alexion was itself acquired by AstraZeneca in a mega $39bn deal ​(AstraZeneca's largest) in 2021: marking its entry into medicines for rare diseases and highlighting the area as a high-growth therapy area with rapid innovation and significant unmet medical need. 

"The proposed acquisition of LogicBio is a significant development for our growing research in genomic medicine,” ​said Marc Dunoyer, Chief Executive Officer, Alexion, AstraZeneca Rare Disease. 

“LogicBio’s people, experience and platforms provide new scientific capabilities by adding best-in-class technology and expertise to our genomic medicine strategy.

"The scientific collaboration between Alexion and AstraZeneca has been a substantial area of focus since last year’s acquisition and the addition of LogicBio will expand this foundational work.”

Fred Chereau, President and Chief Executive Officer, LogicBio, added: “We are excited about the opportunity to bring our science and expertise in genetic medicine to Alexion, which shares our commitment to discovering treatments for rare conditions and improving the lives of patients.

"Through this acquisition, we strive to accelerate our research in gene editing and AAV capsid development and together move the field of genomic medicine forward.”

Both boards have unanimously approved the transaction, with Alexion planning to retain LogicBio employees at their current location.

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