Astellas expands small-molecule drug pipeline with Ogeda acquisition


TOKYO and GODDELIES — Astellas Pharma on Monday announced an acquisition that will expand the company’s late-stage small-molecule pipeline. Astellas will be acquiring drug discovery company Ogeda for as much as €800 million, including a €500 million initial payment. Ogeda shareholders will be eligible for an additional €300 million as the company attains certain clinical milestones for its lead investigational candidate fenzolinetant.

Fenzolinetant is among Ogeda’s small-molecule drugs that target G-protein coupled receptors. The company recently shared positive data from a Phase 2 a study of its treatment of non-hormonal treatment of menopause-related vasomotor symptoms.

"The transaction fits with our strategy to deliver innovative drugs in therapeutic areas with high unmet medical needs,” Astellas president and CEO Yoshihiko Hatanaka said. “Ogeda has been pioneering the development of a NK3 receptor antagonist fezolinetant for the treatment of MR-VMS. We are committed to advancing science to deliver life-changing medicines to people most in need. ... By leveraging this strength, we aim to deliver this potential new therapeutic option to those patients who are suffering from MR-VMS.”

The companies expect the transaction to close in the second quarter of 2017.

“We welcome the acquisition by Astellas and look forward to developing fezolinetant, first non-hormonal treatment of hot flashes/MR-VMS, inside a leading global pharmaceutical company,” Ogeda CEO Jean Combalbert said. “With its strong development and commercialization capabilities, resources and vision, I am convinced that Astellas will be able to turn fezolinetant promising clinical results into near-term value for patients.”

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds