Pfizer To Acquire Rare Disease Biopharm Company Therachon in $800-Million Deal

By Patricia Van Arnum - DCAT Editorial Director

May 9, 2019

Pfizer has agreed to acquire Therachon Holding AG, a Basel, Switzerland-based clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on rare diseases, in a deal with up to $810 million.

Under the terms of the agreement, Pfizer will acquire Therachon for $340 million upfront with an additional $470 million in additional payments contingent on the achievement of key milestones in the development and commercialization of TA-46 for the treatment of achondroplasia, a genetic condition and the most common form of short-limbed dwarfism.

TA-46 is an investigational, soluble recombinant human fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) decoy, a mechanism of action that is believed to normalize the overactive FGFR3 signaling pathways that underlie bone development abnormalities associated with achondroplasia, according to information from Pfizer. Therachon is developing TA-46 as a weekly subcutaneous injection for children and adolescents living with the condition. TA-46 has completed Phase I and has received orphan drug designation from the European Medicines Agency and the US Food and Drug Administration.

Prior to the closing of the transaction with Pfizer, Therachon will spin off its apraglutide development program into a separate, independent company. Apraglutide is a once-weekly, potential GLP-2 analog in Phase II development for short bowel syndrome. Pfizer Ventures, the venture capital arm of Pfizer, currently holds a minority stake and will continue to hold an equity stake in the new company. No additional financial terms were disclosed. 

Source: Pfizer