RARE Daily

Vertex Agrees to Acquire Alpine Immune Sciences for $4.9 billion

April 11, 2024

Rare Daily Staff

Vertex Pharmaceuticals said it agreed to acquire immunotherapy developer Alpine Immune Sciences for $65 per share or approximately $4.9 billion in cash.

The transaction was unanimously approved by both the Vertex and Alpine boards and is expected to close later this quarter.

The deal comes as there has been a surge in M&A activity for rare disease assets. In the first quarter, rare disease drug development acquisition rose to $6.7 billion, roughly double the same period a year ago.

Alpine’s lead experimental therapy povetacicept is in development as a treatment for IgA nephropathy (IgAN). IgAN is a rare and serious, progressive, autoimmune disease of the kidney that can lead to end-stage-renal disease. There are no approved therapies that target the underlying cause of IgAN. IgAN is the most common cause of primary (idiopathic) glomerulonephritis worldwide, affecting approximately 130,000 people in the United States.

Povetacicept (ALPN-303) is a highly potent and effective dual antagonist of BAFF (B cell activating factor) and APRIL (a proliferation inducing ligand). Through phase 2 development, povetacicept has shown potential best-in-class efficacy in IgA nephropathy (IgAN), Vertex said. It is on track to enter phase 3 clinical development in the second half of 2024.

Due to its mechanism of action as a dual BAFF/APRIL antagonist, povetacicept holds the potential to benefit patients with other serious autoimmune diseases of the kidney, such as membranous nephropathy and lupus nephritis, as well as autoimmune cytopenias. Clinical studies in renal indications and autoimmune cytopenias are ongoing.

“Alpine is a compelling strategic fit for Vertex and furthers our ambition of using scientific innovation to create transformative medicines targeting serious diseases with high unmet need in specialty markets,” said Reshma Kewalramani, president and CEO of Vertex.


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