- Millendo Therapeutics Inc. has acquired French endocrinology specialist Alizé Pharma SAS in an all-stock deal that will expand the U.S. biopharma's geographic footprint to Europe and add a second late-stage candidate to its endocrine disease pipeline.
- Through the deal, Millendo gains Alizé's livoletide, which has completed Phase 2 for Prader-Willi syndrome. Millendo's own asset, nevanimibe, will move into Phase 2b next year.
- In Europe, the newly combined company will continue to operate out of Alizé's existing facilities, where the current team will be retained, Millendo said.
Editor's Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the Phase of the pivotal study for livoletide.
The acquisition of Alizé Pharma SAS, a company set up around the single asset livoletide, helps fills a void in Millendo's pipeline left by the very quiet culling of MLE4901. Acquired from AstraZeneca in January 2016, MLE4901 had met its endpoint in a Phase 2 study testing the drug as treatment for vasomotor symptoms. But a statement from the company in November noted that development would be discontinued after a review of the risks and benefits of the program.
"We terminated the MLE4901 program, and this left us with one product in development," said Millendo CEO Julia C. Owens in an interview. "We had the team, the funding and the capabilities, and our goal was to build out our pipeline, so Alizé and livoletide was a perfect fit. Our aim is to build a fully integrated company in endocrinology."
Millendo's nevanimibe (ATR-101) program includes Phase 2 trials for classical congenital adrenal hyperplasia and endogenous Cushing' syndrome, and a Phase 1 trial in adrenocortical carcinoma.
"We have seen positive proof-of-concept data in a Phase 2a trial for nevanimibe in classic congenital adrenal hyperplasia, and we plan to begin a Phase 2b study in 2018," said Owens. "Alizé's livoletide has demonstrated encouraging efficacy and tolerability in a Phase 2 clinical trial in Prader-Willi syndrome, and the next step will be to start planning a pivotal study."
Owens described the retention of Alizé's facilities in Lyon, France as a real asset. The site will function as Millendo's R&D base, supporting European trials and regulatory interactions.