Business Wire

Incyte Announces Agreement to Acquire Medicxi-backed Villaris Therapeutics and Auremolimab (VM6), an Anti-IL-15Rβ Monoclonal Antibody

Share

Incyte (NASDAQ:INCY) today announced that the Company has entered into an agreement to acquire Villaris Therapeutics, an asset-centric biopharmaceutical company seeded by Medicxi and focused on the development of novel antibody therapeutics for vitiligo. Its lead asset, auremolimab (VM6), an anti-IL-15Rβ monoclonal antibody (mAb), is expected to enter clinical development in 2023.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20221003005269/en/

Under the terms of the agreement, Incyte will acquire Villaris and the exclusive global rights to develop and commercialize auremolimab for all uses, including in vitiligo and other autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Incyte will make an upfront payment of $70 million, and Villaris shareholders will be eligible for up to $310 million upon achievement of certain development and regulatory milestones, as well as up to an additional $1.05 billion in commercial milestones on net sales of the product.

“This acquisition complements our current portfolio, providing us the opportunity to further enhance treatment options for people with vitiligo, leveraging the expertise we established in the Dermatology space through our successful launch of Opzelura™ (ruxolitinib) Cream,” said Hervé Hoppenot, Chief Executive Officer, Incyte. “People living with immune-mediated dermatologic diseases like vitiligo face significant challenges and we are committed to developing novel therapies like auremolimab, which may address these unmet needs.” 

John E. Harris, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Dermatology at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School and Founder of Villaris, commented, “I am really excited by the potential for auremolimab to treat vitiligo and other diseases with significant unmet need, and to see that it will now be driven forward with the capabilities and resources of Incyte. Back in 2019, I was very pleased to partner with Michèle Ollier and the Medicxi team to create Villaris as a single-purpose, asset-centric company with a laser focus on developing auremolimab for people with vitiligo who are in desperate need of better treatments. This next phase of development with Incyte will help to make that a reality.”

“Our mission at Medicxi is to partner with world-class innovators like John Harris, who are developing novel treatments for major unmet needs,” said Nick Williams, Partner at Medicxi. “Auremolimab has the potential to transform the lives of people living with vitiligo, and we are extremely excited to be partnering with Incyte, a pioneering company in this indication with the capabilities to explore the broader potential of auremolimab.”

The agreement is subject to clearance by the U.S. antitrust authorities under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act and will become effective as soon as this condition has been met.

PJT Partners advised Villaris on the transaction.

About Auremolimab

Auremolimab (VM6) is a novel, ultra-humanized, anti-IL-15Rβ (CD122) antibody designed to target and deplete autoreactive resident memory T cells (TRM) that has demonstrated efficacy as a treatment for vitiligo in preclinical models. IND-enabling studies are currently underway, and clinical development is expected to begin in 2023.

About Incyte Dermatology

Incyte’s science-first approach and expertise in immunology has formed the foundation of the company. In Dermatology, the Company’s research and development efforts are focused on leveraging our knowledge of the JAK-STAT pathway to identify and develop topical and oral therapies with the potential to modulate immune pathways driving uncontrolled inflammation and help restore normal immune function.

Currently, Incyte is exploring the potential of JAK inhibition for additional immune-mediated dermatologic conditions with a high unmet medical need, including hidradenitis suppurativa. To learn more, visit the Dermatology section of Incyte.com.

About Incyte

Incyte is a Wilmington, Delaware-based, global biopharmaceutical company focused on finding solutions for serious unmet medical needs through the discovery, development and commercialization of proprietary therapeutics. For additional information on Incyte, please visit Incyte.com and follow @Incyte.

About Villaris

Based in Cary, North Carolina, Villaris was founded in 2019 by Medicxi and John Harris, M.D., Ph.D. to develop a potentially transformational new treatment to improve the lives of people living with vitiligo. Villaris is a paradigmatic example of Medicxi’s asset-centric development model, which combines world-class insights and experience with capital and expertise to fully power the program from its initial design to its improvement through ultra-humanization.

About Medicxi

Medicxi is a healthcare-focused investment firm with the mission to create and invest in companies across the full drug development continuum. Medicxi invests in early and late-stage therapeutics with a product vision that can fulfill a clear unmet medical need. Many of its portfolio companies have been acquired including: Impact Biomedicines (acquired by Celgene); XO1 (acquired by Janssen Pharmaceuticals); SynthorX (acquired by Sanofi); Miro Bio (acquired by Gilead); and PanGenetics (acquired by Abbott). Several portfolio companies are now publicly listed, including: GenMab (Copenhagen: GEN.CO); Molecular Partners (SIX: MOLN); Vaxcyte (NASDAQ: PCVX); Aura Biosciences (NASDAQ: AURA); and Centessa Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CNTA). For more information, please visit: https://www.medicxi.com.

Incyte Forward-Looking Statements

Except for the historical information set forth herein, the matters set forth in this press release, including statements regarding whether and when auremolimab will be approved for use; whether and when Incyte will bring auremolimab to market; the potential of auremolimab to treat patients with vitiligo or for any other indication; the potential for Villaris and its shareholders to receive payments from Incyte for development, regulatory and commercial milestones; and the potential for Incyte to broaden its ability to bring new medicines to patients, contain predictions, estimates and other forward-looking statements.

These forward-looking statements are based on the Company's current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially, including unanticipated developments in and risks related to: unanticipated delays; further research and development and the results of clinical trials possibly being unsuccessful or insufficient to meet applicable regulatory standards or warrant continued development; the ability to enroll sufficient numbers of subjects in clinical trials; the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and measures to address the pandemic on the Company’s clinical trials, supply chain, other third-party providers and development and discovery operations; determinations made by regulatory authorities; the Company’s dependence on its relationships with its collaboration partners; the efficacy or safety of the Company’s products and the products of the Company’s collaboration partners; the acceptance of the Company’s products and the products of the Company’s collaboration partners in the marketplace; market competition; sales, marketing, manufacturing and distribution requirements; and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company’s reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its annual report and its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2022. The Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

To view this piece of content from cts.businesswire.com, please give your consent at the top of this page.

Contact information

Incyte:

Media
Catalina Loveman
+1 302 498 6171
cloveman@incyte.com

Investors
Christine Chiou
+1 302 274 4773
cchiou@incyte.com

Medicxi:

Optimum Strategic Communications
Mary Clark/Nick Bastin/Manel Mateus
+44 (0) 20 8148 3040
medicxi@optimumcomms.com

About Business Wire

Business Wire
Business Wire
24 Martin Lane
EC4R 0DR London

+44 20 7626 1982http://www.businesswire.co.uk

(c) 2018 Business Wire, Inc., All rights reserved.

Business Wire, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is the global leader in multiplatform press release distribution.

Subscribe to releases from Business Wire

Subscribe to all the latest releases from Business Wire by registering your e-mail address below. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Latest releases from Business Wire

Esri Named a Leader in 2022 Climate Risk Analytics Report by Independent Research Firm2.12.2022 16:42:00 CET | Press release

Organizations are using modern geographic information system (GIS) technology to better understand the risks presented by climate change and take action. With GIS-driven mapping, analytics, and visualization, leaders can weigh the costs and benefits of plans, mitigate climate-related damage to assets, and make sustainable decisions despite an unpredictable planet. Esri—the global leader in GIS used by many Fortune 500 companies and governments worldwide to improve these sustainability practices—has been recognized by independent research firm Forrester in its report, The Forrester New Wave™: Climate Risk Analytics, Q4 2022. In the report, authored by principal analyst Renee Murphy, Esri received a differentiated rating, the highest score possible, in nine out of ten criteria, including “Advanced Data Processing,” “Visualization,” and “Threat Modeling.” The Forrester report says Esri “offers leading data visualization and advanced processing capabilities,” and that “Esri’s platform acts

Huawei Publishes First White Paper on Approaches to Fairness, Equity & Opportunity2.12.2022 04:07:00 CET | Press release

Huawei called on the ICT industry players to create a level playing field for all people, not just their own employees in its first White Paper on Approaches to Fairness, Equity & Opportunity at their Women in Tech event held at the Peter Drucker Forum. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20221201006045/en/ (Graphic: Business Wire) This White Paper is part of Huawei's ongoing campaign aimed at increasing digital skills education and access for women across the world. Huawei, like many other companies within the ICT industry, has advocated on fairness, opportunity, and equity within their own operations. Notably, the company has taken measurable steps to increase diversity in their workforce and increase internal representation of marginalized groups. It is widely understood that significant, tangible results from such programs are often slow to materialize. And thus Huawei has focused many of its efforts beyond the

H&M and Webhelp Finalize Acquisition of H&M’s Nuremberg Customer Service Center1.12.2022 16:29:00 CET | Press release

The responsible authorities have officially approved the transfer of fashion brand H&M’s Nuremberg customer service center to Webhelp, a leading global customer experience BPO player. The companies, having already signed an agreement in this regard on 19 October 2022, will see Webhelp operate the service center from 1 December onwards under its own name. With this acquisition, Webhelp doubles the number of its employees in Nuremburg and is now one of the largest employers in the industry in northern Bavaria. Today, Webhelp employs more than 110,000 employees in over 60 countries. Webhelp's German headquarters in Nuremberg already provides an attractive working environment with state-of-the-art technical equipment for over 500 employees. Furthermore, Webhelp is committed to investing in the development and wellbeing of its customer advisors, known as 'game-changers,' around the world. Webhelp will welcome the 500 employees of the H&M Service center from today, 1 December, to the Webhelp

Morgan Stanley Sustainable Signals: New Survey Shows Opportunities Exist for Asset Managers to Better Meet Asset Owner Sustainable Investing Needs1.12.2022 16:00:00 CET | Press release

Asset managers have the opportunity to meet asset owners’ growing demands for sustainable investment practices, products and reporting, according to new research by the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing. The latest in the Firm’s Sustainable Signals series, this institutional investor survey polled 110 asset owners in North America, Europe and Asia, as well as 201 asset managers across the same regions to understand what asset owners want and what asset managers are offering—and where the gaps lie in delivering environmental, social and governance (ESG) solutions. “The results of our latest Sustainable Signals survey show that sustainable investing remains an important focus area for institutional investors globally, with the vast majority reporting an increased interest over the past two years,” said Jessica Alsford, Chief Sustainability Officer and CEO of the Institute for Sustainable Investing at Morgan Stanley. “At the same time, our findings show a significant oppo

Successful Product Innovations and Portfolio Acquisition Drive Wella Company to Exceed Profit and Growth Expectations in Successful Second Year1.12.2022 15:12:00 CET | Press release

Wella Company, a global leader in the $100 billion hair and nail segment of the beauty industry, is marking a successful second year as a standalone company, delivering year-over-year double-digit profit and growth ahead of expectations. In Fiscal Year 22, which closed at the end of June, Wella Company beat all targets on financial performance across the globe. Since its founding in December 2020, Wella Company has delivered continuous double-digit profit and growth ahead of expectations and is one of the fastest-growing beauty companies in the sector. Wella Company’s portfolio includes iconic professional and retail hair, nail, and beauty tech brands Wella Professionals, O·P·I, ghd, Briogeo, Nioxin, Sebastian Professional, and Clairol. “Our first two years of business have shown the enduring potential of the Wella Company portfolio – we are re-establishing category excellence in both hair and nails, and both professionals and consumers are falling in love again with our beautiful bran