Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium, and Basel, Switzerland, April 10, 2018 – Promethera® Biosciences SA, a global innovator in cell-based medicines and liver diseases, today announced that it has acquired Baliopharm AG, a Swiss biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of targeted biological therapies for immune-mediated inflammatory diseases and cancer. The transaction complements Promethera® ’s pipeline with an innovative antibody-based drug candidate that specifically binds to the tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (TNF-R1). Combining this novel therapeutic strategy with Promethera® ’s unique liver cell-based therapies could provide improved treatment options for patients suffering from Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and potentially other severe liver diseases. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
With the TNF-alpha pathway and its Receptor 1 (R1) being implicated in the progression of many inflammatory diseases, including chronic liver diseases leading to fibrosis, a therapeutic antibody approach is a valuable strategy in its own right as well as in combination with Promethera® ’s cell-based medicines such as the HepaStem™ technology. Through today’s transaction, Promethera® gains control over Baliopharm’s entire antibody development programs, in particular, the one focused on establishing a unique next-generation and selective TNF-R1 inhibitor including the novel, antibody-based monovalent drug candidate Atrosimab.
“The acquisition of Baliopharm immediately adds very promising antibody assets to our cell-based pipeline and diversifies our therapeutic strategy in NASH by giving us a proprietary combination therapy option. With the development of our cell-based therapy HepaStem™ advancing rapidly towards clinical trials in this indication, the opportunity to strengthen our portfolio with the complementary and potentially synergistic approach that Atrosimab represents is highly valuable and unique from an IP and scientific perspective,” said Dr John Tchelingerian, President & CEO of Promethera® Biosciences SA. “With today’s transaction, Promethera® renews its commitment and further executes on its vision to become the leading drug development organization in severe liver diseases utilizing cell-based and biologically-driven approaches.”
Dr. Andreas Herrmann, CEO of Baliopharm commented, “Today’s announcement is a testament to the strong science that is the foundation of our next-generation anti-TNF R1 development program using a novel therapeutic antibody format, Atrosimab. Promethera® is well positioned to advance the development of Atrosimab and explore unique combination strategies which could offer NASH patients a superior treatment option in future.”
Baliopharm AG is a biotechnology company focusing on the development of novel antibody-based therapeutics for the treatment of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn`s disease, psoriasis and multiple sclerosis, and for cancer. Baliopharm’s antibody pipeline consisting of two selective TNF-R1 antagonists, Atrosab and Atrosimab and the bispecific anti-CD20/CD95 antibody construct, Novotarg.
Baliopharm was founded in 2011 as a spin-off of Celonic AG, an internationally operating service provider in the area of contract development and manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals operating since 1998. Baliopharm AG is located in Basel (Switzerland).