Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX) and Chatham Therapeutics, LLC, today announced that Baxter has agreed to acquire all of Chatham’s outstanding membership interests. As a result of the transaction, Baxter will acquire Chatham’s developmental gene therapy programs directed toward the development and commercialization of treatments for hemophilia.
In May 2012, Baxter and Chatham entered into a collaboration to evaluate Chatham’s Biological Nano Particle (BNP™) platform – an advanced recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV)-based gene therapy technology – as a potential treatment for hemophilia B, known as BAX 335, which is currently in a Phase I/II study. As a result of this acquisition, Baxter obtains broad access to Chatham’s gene therapy platform, including the previously partnered hemophilia B (FIX) program, a preclinical hemophilia A (FVIII) program, and the potential future application to additional hemophilia treatments.
''Chatham’s gene therapy platform technology offers the potential to redefine treatment of both hemophilia A and B,'' said Ludwig Hantson, Ph.D., president of Baxter BioScience. ''This technology will be highly complementary to our expanding pipeline of bleeding disorder treatments as we continue our pursuit of a bleed-free world.''
Under the terms of the agreement, Baxter will make an initial payment of $70 million to acquire all of the outstanding membership interests of Chatham. Baxter may make additional payments in the future based on specified development, regulatory and commercial milestones.
''Given Baxter’s long-standing commitment to innovative product development in hemophilia, we are confident that this transaction provides the best opportunity for the advancement of our BNP
gene therapy platform technology for the benefit of hemophilia patients worldwide. The integration of Chatham’s next-generation technology and expertise, along with Baxter’s global marketing and distribution presence, is a combination we anticipate will support efficient delivery of a potential new class of therapeutics to the hemophilia market,'' said Jade Samulski, Co-Founder of Chatham and Vice President of Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, Inc.
Baxter will continue the ongoing Phase I/II open-label clinical trial to assess the safety and optimal dosing schedule of BAX 335, an investigational FIX gene therapy treatment for hemophilia B. The BNP
technology provides a mechanism for the patient's own liver to begin producing FIX following a single dose of the genetically engineered treatment. The design of the vector allows for more targeted delivery of the FIX therapeutic “cargo” into the natural site of FIX synthesis. This may permit effective therapy with low quantities of the vector.
The Phase I/II clinical trial is proceeding as expected and aims to enroll up to 16 hemophilia B patients.