Incyte buys Villaris Therapeutics

Oct. 3, 2022

U.S.-based Incyte will be buying vitiligo-focused biopharma Villaris Therapeutics, in a $70 million deal announced this week.

As a part of the newly-acquired portfolio, Incyte will have exclusive global rights to commercialize Villaris' lead asset auremolimab, for the treatment of not only vitiligo but other autoimmune and inflammatory conditions as well. Beyond the initial payment, Villaris would be eligible for up to $1.05 billion in commercial milestones. 

Found in 2019 by investment firm Medicxi and John Harris, M.D., Ph.D., North Carolina-based Villaris focuses on transformational new treatments to improve the lives of people living with vitiligo. Villaris’ therapeutic platform is based on a proprietary humanized anti-IL-15R antibody that targets the depletion of a type of autoimmune cells called resident memory T-cells which have been implicated in providing other cells with a recollection of previously affected areas, playing a role in the disease’s reoccurrence.