Published in Health Care

Grand Rapids drug developer sells to Japan-based pharma company in potential $500M deal

BY Tuesday, May 26, 2020 11:02am

GRAND RAPIDS — Drug developer Tetra Therapeutics Inc. has reached a definitive merger agreement with Japan-based pharmaceutical company Shionogi & Co. Ltd. in a deal that could reach $500 million.

Under the agreement announced today, Shionogi & Co. would acquire Tetra’s portfolio of drug compounds for treating Alzheimer’s disease, Fragile X syndrome and other brain disorders associated with cognitive or memory conditions. The merger agreement follows Shionogi & Co.’s prior strategic investment in Grand Rapids-based Tetra Therapeutics, which is presently conducting separate Phase II clinical trials in the U.S. on potential new drugs to treat Alzheimer’s and Fragile X.

Mark Gurney, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO of Tetra Therapeutics COURTESY PHOTO

“Shionogi has been a valued partner for the last two and half years, and with the company’s development and commercialization expertise, we believe Shionogi is ideally positioned to bring the potential of our platform to patients and provide new treatment options within these areas of urgent medical need. This is a great outcome for our investors and stakeholders,” Tetra Therapeutics Chairman and CEO Mark Gurney said.

Under the terms of the deal, Tetra would become a wholly owned subsidiary of Shionogi, which would get global rights to all Tetra compounds, including a compound known as BPN14770 for Alzheimer’s. Based on reaching certain regulatory and commercial milestones, the total transaction value may reach up to $500 million.

“Tetra’s deep level of drug discovery know-how in the CNS area will help us to solve for the cognitive disorders our ageing population is facing, and we believe we are well-positioned to bring BPN14770 to patients in need,” said Isao Teshirogi, president and CEO of Shionogi & Co.

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