On 12 June 2023 Novartis revealed that it has reached a deal to purchase Chinook Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical business with offices in Seattle, Washington, and two high-value, late-stage drugs being developed for uncommon, severe chronic kidney illnesses. The agreed-upon transaction, which is still subject to customary closing requirements, is completely consistent with Novartis’ objective to concentrate on cutting-edge pharmaceuticals and will considerably increase its renal portfolio while enhancing its current pipeline.
“IgA Nephropathy is a devastating disease mostly affecting young adults and potentially leading to dialysis or kidney transplantation. We are excited by this unique opportunity to address one of society’s most challenging healthcare issues, with the potential to bring additional much-needed treatment options to patients.” said Vas Narasimhan, M.D., CEO of Novartis. “We look forward to closing the deal, to a smooth transition for Chinook employees and to welcoming them to Novartis”.
Two late-stage assets under clinical development are part of Chinook’s pipeline for the treatment of Immunoglobulin A Nephropathy (IgAN), a degenerative, uncommon kidney disease that mostly affects young persons and lacks effective treatments at this time. Within ten years, up to three out of ten individuals develop renal failure and require dialysis.
Proteinuria has significantly decreased with the use of Trasentan, an oral endothelin A receptor antagonist (ERA) that is now in Phase III research for IgAN and whose crucial readout is anticipated in Q4 2023. For more uncommon kidney illnesses, Trasentan is still in the early stages of development.A Phase III study in IgAN for the anti-APRIL monoclonal antibody Zigakibart (BION-1301) is anticipated to begin in Q3 2023.
Chinook has a strong early pipeline to treat a variety of severe renal disorders and a solid grasp of modeling and understanding kidney disease.
According to the terms of the agreement, which has been unanimously endorsed by the boards of both businesses, Novartis would buy Chinook for up to USD 3.5 billion through a combination between Chinook and a newly created Novartis subsidiary. Holders of Chinook common stock would receive USD 3.2 billion (USD 40.00 per share) in cash upon closing under the terms of the merger agreement, as well as a contingent value right with a value of up to USD 0.3 billion (USD 4.00 per share), payable in cash upon the achievement of specific regulatory milestones. The deal is anticipated to conclude in the second half of 2023, subject to the usual closing requirements, which include receiving regulatory clearances and the consent of the owners of Chinook. Chinook will continue to run as a distinct and independent business up until the transaction is completed.