Astellas Acquires Gene-Therapy Company Quethera

Astellas Pharma has acquired Quethera, a Cambridge, UK-headquartered gene-therapy company focused on developing treatments for ocular disorders, such as glaucoma, in a deal worth up to £85 million ($108 million).

Through this transaction, Astellas has acquired Quethera’s ophthalmic gene-therapy program, which uses a recombinant adeno-associated viral vector system (rAAV) to introduce therapeutic genes into target retinal cells for treating glaucoma. The lead preclinical candidate of the program has demonstrated improved survival of retinal ganglion cells in preclinical models, according to information from Astellas.

Quethera was formed through its founding investor UK Innovation and Science Seed Fund, an early-stage venture capital fund for technology companies, backed Quethera with co-investment from Cambridge Enterprise, the commercialization arm of the University of Cambridge, in August 2015 and followed with subsequent investment.

Under the purchase agreement, Astellas may pay up to £85 million ($108 million) in aggregate consideration (upfront and contingent payments) to Quethera shareholders to acquire Quethera. Upon the closing of the transaction, Quethera has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Astellas.

Source: Astellas Pharma

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