Amsterdam-based Calypso Biotech, a biopharmaceuticals company that discovers and develops novel therapies for autoimmune diseases, announced on Monday that it has agreed to be acquired by Novartis, a Swiss medical company.
Upon completion of the acquisition, Calypso shareholders will receive $250M (approximately €228M) at closing and up to $175M (approximately €160M) based on achieving predetermined milestones.
Alain Vicari, Calypso’s Chief Executive Officer and co-founder, says, “We are excited about this transaction with Novartis, a company with a relentless commitment to developing innovative therapies for autoimmune conditions. As part of the Novartis portfolio, CALY-002 is in the best position to be developed effectively to address unmet medical needs in multiple indications promptly.”
Calypso: Developing novel therapies for autoimmune diseases
Calypso, a spin-out from Merck, is focused on the R&D of monoclonal antibodies for various autoimmune indications, with expertise in IL-15 biology.
IL-15 is a broad, untapped immune axis that controls barrier function and downstream immune cascades in many chronic autoimmune diseases.
The Dutch company’s lead product — CALY-002, is a potential best-in-class therapeutic antibody that binds to and neutralizes Interleukin-15.
Bernard Coulie, Chairman of Calypso, says, “The transaction with Novartis constitutes the high point in the development path of CALY-002 for the team. Calypso has established a significantly de-risked profile for CALY-002 as a potential best-in-class therapeutic anti-IL-15 antibody.”
With this acquisition, Novartis gets the full rights to CALY-002.
Novartis intends to further explore CALY-002 across various autoimmune indications with high unmet medical needs.
CALY-002 is currently evaluated in a Phase 1b trial in patients with Celiac Disease and Eosinophilic Esophagitis.
Novartis: Improving people’s lives
Novartis is a company that develops innovative medicines to improve and extend people’s lives.
Novartis’ medicines are used by over 250 million people worldwide, making a significant impact in the healthcare industry, claims the company.
Richard Siegel, Head of Immunology Research at Novartis, comments, “Novartis is committed to bringing innovative treatment options forward for patients with immunological diseases. We’re thrilled to add Calypso’s potential best-in-class antibody to our Immunology pipeline and explore it in a spectrum of autoimmune indications.”