Baxter International has snapped up all haemophilia related assets of Archemix as well as an exclusive license to its Anti-TFPI aptamer technology, for $30 million upfront and potential milestones of $285 million.
The flagship product in Archemix’ haemophilia development portfolio is ARC19499 - a synthetic drug part of a new therapeutic class called aptamers - which blocks Tissue Factor Pathway Inhibitor activity and thus boosts blood clotting, and is currently being assessed in a Phase I clinical trial in the UK.
Aptamers are smaller than protein or biologic medicines and as such have the potential to be developed for subcutaneous administration, ideal for the treatment of haemophilia as patients with the disease, which is thought to affect 400,000 around the globe, are in danger of uncontrolled bleeds because of the lack of clotting factors in the blood.
Hartmut Ehrlich, vice president of global research and development and medical affairs for Baxter’s BioScience business, said the anti-TFPI program is “an important addition” to the company’s other hemophilia development programs focusing on longer-acting recombinant factor VIII and IX and non-intravenous therapies.
The companies said they expect to the deal to complete by year-end, and Baxter noted that it would book a $30 million charge in the fourth quarter as a result, for which it has previously forecast earnings of $1.09 to $1.11 per diluted share, before any special items.
Baxter’s shares closed up $0.30 on the New York Stock Exchange following the announcement.