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2023-10-11| Asia-PacificM&A

Kyowa Kirin to Acquire Orchard Therapeutics, Forging a Path in Genetic Medicine

by Sinead Huang
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Japan-based global specialty pharmaceutical company Kyowa Kirin and global gene therapy leader Orchard Therapeutics have recently announced a definitive agreement. Under this agreement, Kyowa Kirin will acquire this British pharma company for $16.00 per American Depositary Share (ADS) in cash, amounting to approximately $387.4 million (¥57.3 billion). Orchard’s shareholders will also hold a contingent value right (CVR) of $1.00 per ADS, and an additional $1.00 CVR will be paid if certain conditions are met, bringing the total per ADS to $17.00 or approximately $477.6 million (¥70.7 billion).

Related article: Kyowa Kirin’s Strategic Partner Sandoz KK Receives Nod for Rituximab Biosimilar 

Kyowa Kirin’s Vision Meets Orchard Therapeutics’ Innovation

Kyowa Kirin has laid out a bold vision for the future through its 2030 Vision. This vision centers on creating and delivering medicines that provide life-changing value, ultimately bringing smiles to people’s faces. At the core of this strategy is a dedication to life, a commitment to align transformative science with areas of great unmet need. Recognizing the potential of cell and gene therapies to aid patients, Kyowa Kirin’s focus, patient commitment, and expertise in commercializing rare disease medicines worldwide align seamlessly with this vision.

By harnessing the unique power of a patient’s genetically modified hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), Orchard Therapeutics aims to potentially correct the root cause of genetic diseases with a single administration. Upon the completion of this acquisition, Kyowa Kirin will gain a global leadership position in the field of genetic medicine. This portfolio spans commercial, clinical, and pre-clinical HSC gene therapies that target serious diseases with significant burdens for patients, families, and society. These conditions often lack effective treatment options.

Transformative Therapies and Unwavering Commitment

Orchard’s portfolio includes Libmeldy (atidarsagene autotemcel), also known as OTL-200. This therapy is intended for eligible patients with early-onset metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD), which is an autosomal recessive lysosomal disorder that results in a buildup of sulfatides that leads to the destruction of the myelin sheath, leading to progressive demyelination of the central and peripheral nervous system. Libmeldy is approved by the European Commission (EC) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for the treatment of MLD patients. It is also an investigational drug under Priority Review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with a goal date of March 18, 2024.

Leveraging the same HSC gene therapy platform, Orchard Therapeutics is advancing clinical-stage programs for the treatment of other rare pediatric neurometabolic disorders, including mucopolysaccharidosis type I Hurler’s syndrome (MPS-IH) and mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA (MPS-IIIA), also known as Sanfilippo syndrome. This strategic acquisition by Kyowa Kirin will maximize the value of Libmeldy and expedite the development of Orchard Therapeutics’ next-in-line MPS programs, along with their early research programs. The collaboration between these companies holds great promise in delivering life-changing value in medical care across various therapeutic areas.

A Shared Vision of Hope and Progress

Both Kyowa Kirin and Orchard Therapeutics share an unwavering commitment to creating life-changing value for patients living with rare and life-threatening inherited diseases. The acquisition represents a significant step towards the realization of this shared vision. As Takeyoshi Yamashita, Director of the Board and Chief Medical Officer at Kyowa Kirin, explains, “Our hope is to combine the strengths of Kyowa Kirin and Orchard Therapeutics with mutual respect to realize the successful creation and delivery of life-changing value for patients.”

Bobby Gaspar, Co-founder and CEO of Orchard Therapeutics, echoes this sentiment, expressing excitement about the opportunity to accelerate their mission of ending the devastation caused by severe genetic diseases. He anticipates well-resourced progress in the commercialization of OTL-200, expanding the reach of Libmeldy, and advancing their neurometabolic programs and early-stage research.

This collaboration signifies a significant stride forward in the realm of genetic medicine, offering hope to patients and promising transformative therapies that can reshape the future of medical care.

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