Otsuka To Acquire Precision Antibody Specialist Visterra for $430 Million

Otsuka Pharmaceutical has agreed to acquire Visterra, a Waltham, Massachusetts-headquartered clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on antibody development, for approximately $430 million in cash. Both companies’ Board of Directors have approved the transaction.

Visterra’s Hierotope platform enables the design and engineering of precision antibody-based therapies that the company says specifically bind to, and modulate, disease targets that are not adequately addressed by current technologies in antibody therapeutics. Visterra’s pipeline includes programs targeting immunoglobulin A nephropathy, a kidney disease, and other kidney diseases, cancer, chronic pain, and infectious diseases.

Otsuka’s research areas are in psychiatric and neurological diseases, hematological cancers, and kidney, cardiovascular, and infectious diseases. The company is working on proprietary drug discovery and development platforms, including antibody development platforms, as a means to increase the efficiency of drug discovery across its programs and as an addition to conventional research and development processes.

Following completion of the acquisition, Visterra will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Otsuka America, which is a US holding company and a wholly owned subsidiary of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. of Japan. Visterra will continue to operate its business and develop its pipeline as a member of the Otsuka family of companies and will retain its employees and its location in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Subject to customary closing conditions, including expiration or termination of the waiting period under US antitrust laws, the transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018.

Source: Visterra and Otuska Pharmaceutical

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