- Astellas Pharma, Inc. has snapped up its exclusive option to buy out the biotech Mitobridge, Inc. in a deal worth up to $450 million. Mitobridge will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Astellas.
- The deal is the end result of a 2013 collaboration between Astellas and Mitobridge, previously known as Mitokyne. Astellas will pay an upfront fee of $250 million, and make milestone payments of up to $225 million.
- The original deal was an R&D collaboration around the discovery and development of compounds based on mitochondrial function. The most advanced program born of the agreement is MA-0211, which is in Phase 1 for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Astellas and Mitobridge signed the original deal in 2013. This was an exclusive R&D collaboration focused on discovering and developing drugs designed to improve mitochondrial functions, with potential in genetic, metabolic or neurodegenerative disorders as well as conditions of aging. The five-year deal gave Astellas the right to acquire the biotech company and create a wholly-owned subsidiary, and has also helped the company to move into a new area.
"Astellas has increased the involvement in mitochondrial drug discovery through its partnership with Mitobridge and the network of key scientists that the company has assembled. The achievements resulting from the collaboration have exceeded our expectations including the rapid advancement of multiple programs," said Yoshihiko Hatanaka, president and CEO of Astellas.
Mitobridge's MA-0211, is in Phase 1 for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, with preclinical studies under way in mitochondrial myopathies, and fatty acid oxidation disorders. Mitobridge's pipeline also includes preclinical projects such as MTB-2 in kidney diseases and earlier projects in muscle, liver, neurodegenerative, kidney and ophthalmic disorders.
Mitochondrial diseases can affect the heart, brain, muscle, nervous system, gut and other organs in serious and sometimes fatal ways, and affect around one in 4,000 people. Although individual mitochondrial diseases are rare, there are a number of companies developing potential therapeutics.
NeuroVive Pharmaceutical AB's KL1333 is in Phase 1 for a number of chronic oral treatment of primary genetic mitochondrial disorders. The company is also developing NVP015 as an energy-regulating preparation for intravenous acute treatment of conditions involving cellular energy crises, and NV556 for the treatment of mitochondrial myopathy.
Khondrion BV is conducting a Phase 2 trial for KH176 and in vivo proof-of-concept studies for KH744, both in mitochondrial disease.
Mission Therapeutics is assessing the inhibition of USP30 for rare primary genetic mitochondrial diseases.