Tokyo Pharma Company Astellas Acquires UK-Based Biotech Firm Nanna

astellas

This is Astellas’ second acquisition of the year.

Tokyo-based multinational pharma company Astellas announced earlier this week that it had acquired U.K.-based biotech company Nanna Therapeutics, through a share purchase agreement executed by its UK subsidiary, Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd.

The deal was settled at GBP 12 million (about US $14.7 million), and former Nanna shareholders are eligible to receive up to GBP 57.5 million (about US $70.8 million) as “potential future development milestone payments,” a statement from the company said.

It added that the acquisition is not likely to affect Astellas’ financial results for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021.

This is the second acquisition that Astellas has made this year, after it acquired San Francisco-based Audentes Therapeutics in January. The company also completed the acquisition of its own shares in February, and underwent a management restructuring in February.

Kenji Yasukawa, Ph.D., President and CEO at Astellas, said in the statement, “We believe this acquisition will enable us to create new solutions that address unmet medical needs by combining Nanna’s unique technology platform with our research and development capabilities related to mitochondrial diseases.”

He added that the acquisition will combine Nanna’s technology with Astellas’ research and development capacity to cater to unmet medical needs pertaining to mitochondrial disease.

David Williams, Ph.D., CEO at Nanna, said in the statement “We are focused on developing innovative modulators of mitochondria. This critical organelle, the center of energy production and signaling in almost every cell, is implicated in numerous human diseases.”

Nanna is a drug discovery company with a focus on treatment of age-related diseases, particularly those linked to mitochondrial dysfunction such as Mitochondrial Encephalomyopathy, Lactic Acidosis and Stroke-like episodes (MELOS) syndrome, Kearns-Sayre syndrome and Parkinson’s disease.

Its proprietary screening platform, which is designed to improve drug discovery, allows for expanded mitochondria-related research.

“Nanna’s platform will accelerate Astellas’ drug discovery research in mitochondria-related biology areas such as autophagy and mitophagy, as well as other research areas such as aging/senescence and immunometabolism,” Yasukawa added in the statement.

Combining the screening platform with newer DNA-encoded chemical library (DELs) technology can help Astellas strengthen its early stage drug development capabilities, the statement noted. This approach can be applied to various assay systems and support phenotype-based screening, unlike conventional DELs.

Earlier this month, Astellas entered into an agreement with Japan-based global video game developer and publisher BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, to co-develop a smartphone application and other devices that promote and support exercise as a regular lifestyle choice.

Astellas has also recently entered into a strategic partnership with another therapeutics platform CytomX Therapeutics for the discovery, development, and commercialization of novel T-cell engaging antibodies towards potential treatments for cancer.

The partnership will leverage CytomX’s Probody therapeutic technology platform, proprietary bispecific formats and CD3 modules. The deal entailed an upfront cash payment of $80 million with future milestone payments of up to $1.6 billion to CytomX.

Header image by Starline on Freepik

SHARE THIS STORY

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

RELATED POSTS

5 More Business Podcasts You Need to Listen To

5 More Business Podcasts You Need to Listen To

Entrepreneurs have one thing in common—they always look for opportunities to learn and grow. To gain an understanding of running a viable business, you need to listen to the experiences of those who have emerged triumphant in the business world. A great way to do so is by tuning into a vast number of business and entrepreneurship podcasts scattered across the internet today.

5 Hobbies To Maximize Your Entrepreneurial Drive

5 Hobbies To Maximize Your Entrepreneurial Drive

Entrepreneurs are a special breed of person. They’re go-getters, risk-takers and dreamers. Yet, even the most driven entrepreneur needs to take a break from time to time. Spending every second of your day on your business is stressful, and you will lose your drive very soon. If you want to stay energetic and ready to take on new challenges at work, hobbies are what you need.

Making the Metaverse a Force for Good with the Metaverse Charity Foundation

Making the Metaverse a Force for Good with the Metaverse Charity Foundation

If you are a frequent reader of our website, you must have seen us mention The Sandbox, Decentraland and Axie Infinity. These are some of the most popular metaverses out there, and the one thing they all have in common is that they all have their origins in Asia. While Asia is home to all these metaverse projects, it suffers two main issues: the region has major rural-urban inequality as well as a significant wage difference between high-skilled and low-skilled occupations.

How Do Stores Get You to Spend More Money

How Do Stores Get You to Spend More Money?

Have you ever entered a grocery store to buy some milk but ended up with a bag full of items you didn’t even need? You’re not alone if you feel guilty for spending more money than you intended. It’s not our fault that we keep putting items in our shopping carts; we are manipulated to do so! To make sure you buy more, retailers will go all the way to carefully engineer every aspect of their store.

6 Lessons All Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos

6 Lessons All Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos

Whether you love or hate him, there’s no denying that Jeff Bezos is one of the most successful entrepreneurs of our generation. Bezos, the founder of Amazon, has built a business empire encompassing everything from ecommerce and cloud computing to artificial intelligence (AI). What can we learn from Bezos, one of the world’s wealthiest men with a net worth of US$151 billion? Here are six key lessons that all entrepreneurs can learn from the billionaire:

9 Signs of a Toxic Workplace

9 Signs of a Toxic Workplace

Workplace trends like “hustle culture” and “quiet quitting” are shining the light on unhealthy, toxic work environments and their effects on employees. Hustle culture is when you feel like you have to work yourself to the bone and do way more than others all the time; quiet quitting, a counteragent to hustle culture, is about doing the bare minimum at your job instead of going above and beyond for an exploitative employer.