Adheron Therapeutics, a Berkeley, California, United States-based biotechnology company, is to be acquired by Roche.
Under the terms of the agreement, Adheron’s shareholders will receive an upfront cash payment of USD 105m, plus additional contingent payments of up to USD 475m based on achievement of certain predetermined milestones.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and anticipated to close shortly.
Founded by Drs. Michael Brenner and David Lee of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and led by industry veterans Bob Baltera (executive chairman) and Hari Kumar, PhD (CEO), Adheron Therapeutics has developed a cell surface protein called Cadherin-11 in order to develop potential treatments for a variety of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and fibrotic diseases.
The lead asset, SDP051, a humanized monoclonal antibody targeting Cadherin-11, has completed Phase 1 of clinical development, which assessed the safety and tolerability of the compound in healthy volunteers. Research has implicated Cad-11 in the disease processes leading to rheumatoid arthritis and a number of fibrotic diseases.
Cadherin-11 (Cad-11) is a protein that acts as an “adhesive” between cells. Cadherin-11 is a surface protein expressed on fibroblasts in the skin and lungs, and fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) in the joints. It is a key mediator of joint destruction in rheumatoid arthritis, and is also an important contributor to fibrotic pathology.
The company is funded by a group of venture investors comprising Health Care Ventures, MedImmune Ventures, Partners Innovation Fund, Amgen Ventures, and SROne.