M&A News: Lilly, AbbVie & LG Chem

The latest news on mergers and acquisitions featuring Lilly/Akouos, AbbVie/DJS Antibodies, and LG Chem/Aveo Oncology. Highlights below.

* Lilly To Acquire Gene-Therapy Company Akouos in $610-M Deal
* AbbVie To Acquire DJS Antibodies for $255 M
* Korean Chemical Giant LG Chem To Acquire AVEO Oncology for $566 M

Lilly To Acquire Gene-Therapy Company Akouos in $610-M Deal
Eli Lilly and Company has agreed to acquire Akouos, a Boston-based company developing adeno-associated viral (AAV) gene therapies for treatng inner ear conditions, in a $610-million deal ($487 million upfront plus contingency payments).

Akouos’s lead product candidate, AK-OTOF, is a gene therapy for the treatment of hearing loss due to mutations in the otoferlin gene (OTOF). Additional pipeline programs span across multiple inner ear conditions, and include: AK-CLRN1 for Usher Type 3A, an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by progressive loss of hearing and vision; GJB2 (which encodes connexin 26) for a common form of monogenic deafness and hearing loss; and AK-antiVEGF for the treatment of vestibular schwannoma, a benign tumor that develops on the balance (vestibular) and hearing, or auditory nerves.

Under the transaction, Lilly will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Akouos for $12.50 per share in cash (an aggregate of approximately $487 million) plus one contingent value right of up to $3.00 per share for a total value deal value of $610 million. The deal has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies.

Source: Eli Lilly and Company

AbbVie To Acquire DJS Antibodies for $255 M
AbbVie has agreed to acquire DJS Antibodies an Oxford, UK-based preclinical-stage bio/pharmaceutical company, for $255 million plus potential milestone payments.

DJS Antibodies is focused on developing antibody medicines that target difficult-to-drug disease-causing proteins, such as G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). It has a proprietary platform to antibody discovery with specific capabilities targeting transmembrane protein targets. Its lead candidate is DJS-002, in preclinical development for treating idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a chronic disease that affects the tissue surrounding the air sacs in the lungs, and other fibrotic diseases.

Under the agreement, AbbVie will pay DJS shareholders approximately $255 million at closing. DJS shareholders remain eligible for potential additional payments upon the achievement of certain development milestones related to the success of the DJS-002 program. AbbVie anticipates retaining all current DJS employees and its facility in Oxford.

Source: AbbVie

Korean Chemical Giant LG Chem To Acquire Aveo Oncology for $566 M
LG Chem, a Seoul, Korea-based chemical company, has agreed to acquire Aveo Oncology, a Boston bio/pharmaceutical company focused on oncology, for $566 million.

Aveo’s lead product is Fotivda (tivozanib) for treating relapsed or refractory advanced renal cell carcinoma. The drug was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in March 2021. Upon clos

Aveo Oncology will serve as the commercial footprint for oncology in the US for LG Chem’s Life Sciences Division. The combined company will be headquartered in Seoul, South Korea. LG Chem also expects to maintain a significant presence in Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, the current sites of Aveo, and the location of the LG Chem Life Sciences Innovation Center.

The transaction was unanimously approved by both companies’ Boards of Directors and is expected to close in early 2023, subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by Aveo shareholders and receipt of regulatory approvals.

Source: Aveo Oncology