Tokyo-based Astellas Pharma Inc. has agreed to acquire Ogeda, a privately owned drug discovery company that discovers and develops small molecule drugs targeting G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs).
The lead investigational candidate, fezolinetant, is a selective NK3 receptor antagonist, and the positive data from a Phase 2a study result for the non-hormonal treatment of menopause-related vasomotor symptoms ("MR-VMS") was announced in January 2017. This transaction expands Astellas' late stage pipeline and is expected to contribute to its mid-to-long term growth.
Astellas has agreed to pay up to a total of about $853.5 million (EUR 800 million). Astellas will make an initial payment of EUR 500 million in consideration of 100% of the equity in Ogeda at the closing of the transaction. Then Ogeda shareholders will be eligible to receive an additional EUR 300 million with attainment of certain clinical development and regulatory milestones for fezolinetant.
Upon completion of the transaction, Ogeda would become a wholly owned subsidiary of Astellas. The closing is expected to be finalized in the second quarter of 2017.
"The transaction fits with our strategy to deliver innovative drugs in therapeutic areas with high unmet medical needs. Ogeda has been pioneering the development of a NK3 receptor antagonist fezolinetant for the treatment of MR-VMS", commented Yoshihiko Hatanaka, president and CEO, Astellas.
A recently announced Phase 2a study of fezolinetant met its primary endpoints, demonstrating significant improvement by fezolinetant compared to placebo in 80 menopausal women suffering from MR-VMS also known as HF.