Pfizer to buy Therachon for $340 million upfront, gaining experimental drug for achondroplasia

Pfizer said Wednesday that it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all of the shares of Therachon for $340 million upfront, with a further $470 million in milestone payments linked to the development and commercialisation of the latter's experimental drug TA-46 for the treatment of achondroplasia. Seng Cheng, chief scientific officer of Pfizer's rare disease research unit, noted that the company's "existing research programmes for paediatric growth disorders provide a complementary setting for this potential breakthrough therapy." 

Therachon is developing TA-46, a soluble recombinant human FGFR3 decoy, as a weekly subcutaneous injection for children and adolescents living with achondroplasia. The treatment, which has progressed through Phase I development, has been awarded orphan drug status in the US and EU for this indication.  

Prior to the closing of the transaction with Pfizer, Therachon will spin-off apraglutide, a once-weekly GLP-2 analogue in Phase II development for short bowel syndrome, into a separate, independent company. Meanwhile, Pfizer's venture capital arm Pfizer Ventures, while holds a minority stake in Therachon, will continue to hold an equity stake in the spinoff business.  

No other terms of Pfizer's transaction with Therachon were disclosed.

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