Astellas Pays $3 Billion for Audentes

10.12.2019 -

Japanese drugmaker Astellas Pharma has announced plans to acquire US gene therapy company Audentes Therapeutics for around $3 billion.

The boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved the proposed deal, which will see Astellas buy Audentes through Asilomar Acquisition, a wholly owned subsidiary of Astellas US Holding.

In the next few weeks, Asilomar will begin a tender offer of $60 per share for all outstanding Audentes shares; once successfully completed, Asilomar will be merged into Audentes.

Astellas said the acquisition is a key step in its aim to develop medicines for diseases with unmet medical needs. It adds a fifth primary focus in genetic regulation to its four other focus areas of immuno-oncology, regeneration and blindness, mitochondria biology and immunotherapy.

“Recent scientific and technological advances in genetic medicine have advanced the potential to deliver unprecedented and sustained value to patients, and even to curing diseases with a single intervention,” said Kenji Yasukawa, president and CEO of Astellas. “Audentes has developed a robust pipeline of promising product candidates which are complementary to our existing pipeline, including its lead program AT132 for the treatment of X-Linked Myotubular Myopathy (XLMTM).”

XLMTM is a rare and serious neuromuscular disease that is characterized by extreme muscle weakness, respiratory failure and early death.

Completion of the deal remains subject to the usual conditions, including US regulatory clearance.