Alexion Pharmaceuticals Revamps R&D
Alexion Pharmaceuticals, a New Haven, Connecticut-based pharmaceutical company, is redefining its research & development strategy to focus on its expertise in complement biology and core therapeutic areas of hematology, nephrology, neurology, and metabolic disorders and is discontinuing its preclinical programs with mRNA therapies as well as other preclinical programs that are outside of the complement franchise. The complement system refers to an enzyme cascade that helps defend against infection and bridges innate and acquired immunity.
To optimize and align R&D investments and development efforts with its redefined strategy, Alexion is de-prioritizing clinical development programs for ALXN1101 (cyclic pyranopterin monophosphate replacement therapy) and ALXN6000 (samalizumab) and will seek to out-license these assets. Alexion is also discontinuing its preclinical programs with mRNA therapies as well as other preclinical programs that are outside of the complement franchise, and is therefore terminating its partnerships with Moderna Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotechnology company, Blueprint Medicines, another Massachusetts-based biotechnology company, and Arbutus Biopharma, a Burnaby, Canada-based biopharmaceutical company.
In January 2014, Alexion and Moderna Therapeutics formed an exclusive strategic agreement for the discovery and development of messenger RNA therapeutics to treat rare diseases. Alexion made an upfront payment to Moderna of $100 million to purchase 10 product options to develop and commercialize. Alexion led the discovery, development, and commercialization of the treatments produced through the broad, long-term strategic agreement while Moderna retained responsibility for the design and manufacture of the messenger RNA against selected targets. Alexion made a $25 million preferred equity investment into Moderna at the time of the agreement.
Alexion’s first-half revenues for 2017 totaled $1.8 billion, with $1.6 billion coming from its top-selling immunosuppressive drug, Soliris (eculizumab). The drug is approved for treating patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, a rare blood disorder, to reduce hemolysis, and for treating atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome, a rare kidney disorder.
Source: Alexion Pharmaceuticals