Novartis acquires Chinook Therapeutics for $3.5bn

James Spargo | June 12, 2023 | News story | Mergers and Acquisitions Chinook Therapeutics, Nephrology, Novartis, kidney disease, pharma 

Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis has entered into an agreement and plan of merger with US-based biopharmaceutical company Chinook Therapeutics for up to $3.5bn.

Chinook focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of drugs to treat rare, severe and chronic kidney diseases. Its lead programme, atrasentan, is a phase 3 endothelin receptor antagonist that treats IgA nephropathy and proteinuric glomerular diseases. Chinook us also testing zigakibart (BION-1301), an anti-APRIL monoclonal antibody, in a phase 1/2 trial for IgA nephropathy. In phase 1 development, there’s CHK-336, an oral small molecule LDHA inhibitor for the treatment of hyperoxalurias.

As part of the agreement, Novartis will buy Chinook for $3.2bn in cash, with further milestone payments of $4 per share in contingent value rights (CVRs) for shareholders regarding atrasentan.

Eric Dobmeier, president and CEO of Chinook Therapeutics, stated: “We are pleased that Novartis recognises the significant value that the Chinook team has built with our pipeline of clinical and preclinical programmes for patients with rare, severe chronic kidney diseases. We believe this transaction is great news for kidney disease patients and the programmes we have built at Chinook. Through this merger, Novartis can apply its substantial resources to pursue broader development efforts and commercialisation of atrasentan, zigakibart (BION-1301) and other programmes in our pipeline to build its global renal therapeutic area.”

Vas Narasimhan MD, CEO of Novartis, stated: “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. We look forward to closing the deal, to a smooth transition for Chinook employees and to welcoming them to Novartis.”

James Spargo

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