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Astellas Pharma Inc reports purchase of rights to the Astellas BAFF/APRIL dual antagonist programme by Thunderbolt Inc.

M2 EQUITYBITES-May 25, 2016-Astellas Pharma Inc reports purchase of rights to the Astellas BAFF/APRIL dual antagonist programme by Thunderbolt Inc

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Pharmaceutical products company Astellas Pharma Inc (TSE:4503) stated on Tuesday the acquisition of all rights to the Astellas BAFF/APRIL dual antagonist programme through an asset purchase agreement by Thunderbolt Inc.

Thunderbolt is the first company established by Vitesse Biologics, a unique collaboration model formed by Baxalta, Mayo Clinic and VPD focused on the development of antibody and protein-based therapeutics in the areas of immunology, hematology and oncology.

Baxalta Incorporated (BXLT), the Mayo Clinic, Velocity Pharmaceutical Development LLC (VPD) and Astellas Pharma Inc (TSE:4503) are all shareholders in Thunderbolt.

The Astellas BAFF/APRIL dual antagonists will be developed for B cell disorders including systemic lupus erythematosus. Baxalta, Mayo Clinic and VPD will each contribute to the development costs associated with the programme.

Under the agreement, Baxalta will provide global commercialisation, antibody and protein development and manufacturing capabilities; Mayo Clinic clinicians and researchers advise on selection of preclinical candidates, disease indications and the design and conduct of Phase 1 clinical trials.

In conjunction, VPD will be responsible for target identification, selection of early stage drug candidates, will lead the design and execution of pre-clinical testing as well as advise the early clinical protocols.

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Date:May 25, 2016
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