Grifols to acquire Alkahest to enhance discovery research and development to identify innovative therapies for age-related diseases based upon an understanding of the human plasma proteome
- Grifols to acquire remaining stock of Alkahest, Inc. in exchange for a total price of $146 million, on a debt-free basis, bringing its ownership of Alkahest to 100%; the transaction is expected to close in early 2021
- Alkahest currently has four candidates in six phase-2 clinical trials covering therapeutic products for neurodegenerative, cognitive decline, neuromuscular and ophthalmic indications
- Alkahest has developed a map of the human plasma proteome facilitating the identification of plasma proteins and their recombinant analogues as potential therapeutic medicines
BARCELONA, Spain, and SAN CARLOS, Calif., Sept. 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Grifols (MCE: GRF, MCE: GRF.P,NASDAQ: GRFS), a leading global producer of plasma-derived medicines and a leader in the development of innovative diagnostic solutions, today announced it has entered into a transaction to acquire the remaining equity of Alkahest, Inc. in exchange for a total price of $146 million, on a debt-free basis. No additional financing will be required.
The closing of the transaction is subject to the approval by the relevant antitrust authorities, and is expected to close in early 2021.
The Silicon Valley-based biotechnology company was founded upon research into the therapeutic use of plasma proteins in combating diseases associated with aging as identified in the Stanford University laboratory of Tony Wyss-Coray, professor of Neurology at Stanford and co-founder and board member of Alkahest.
In addition to the clinical development of specific plasma fractions and protein inhibitors, Alkahest is focused on developing a complete understanding of the human plasma proteome. This unique proteomic platform of targets will help Grifols and Alkahest to unlock new therapeutics and diagnostics, develop new plasma proteins, new indications for currently licensed plasma proteins, biomarkers for diagnostics, recombinant proteins and antibodies as well as small-molecule drugs.
Understanding the plasma proteome is the key to Alkahest's comprehensive discovery and development platform delivering transformational therapeutics. Alkahest, as a wholly owned subsidiary within the Grifols innovation office (GIANT), will focus on proteins with biological impact that change with age. Thus far, more than 8,000 separate proteins have been identified by Alkahest and using advanced techniques of molecular analysis at the cellular level, an array of new products are expected to enter Grifols' discovery and development pipeline and bring new therapeutic medicines to market.
"We saw the promise of Alkahest's understanding of aging when we made our first investment and entered into a collaboration agreement with them five years ago," said Víctor Grífols, co-CEO of Grifols. "Now we see a wealth of plasma-derived and non-plasma therapeutic candidates identified by Alkahest that can significantly support the unmet needs of many diseases associated with aging."
Karoly Nikolich, CEO of Alkahest, said, "We are excited to join forces with Grifols, an industry leader in plasma-derived medicines, to realize our shared vision and mission of delivering innovative medicines for age-related diseases on an ambitious scale."
Dr. Wyss-Coray added: "It is most gratifying to see some of our initial academic discoveries on the therapeutic power of plasma proteins being translated into new treatments for human diseases through the synergies between Grifols and Alkahest. I am thrilled to continue and expand our productive partnership and am optimistic for continued clinical success."
Grifols was supported in this transaction by its advisors, Osborne Clarke and Proskauer. Alkahest was supported in this transaction by its advisor, Cooley.
Grifols is a global healthcare company founded in Barcelona in 1909 committed to improving the health and well-being of people around the world. Its four divisions – Bioscience, Diagnostic, Hospital and Bio Supplies – develop, produce and market innovative solutions and services that are sold in more than 100 countries.
Pioneers in the plasma industry, Grifols operates a growing network of donation centers worldwide. It transforms collected plasma into essential medicines to treat rare, chronic and, at times, life-threatening conditions. As a recognized leader in transfusion medicine, Grifols also offers a comprehensive portfolio of solutions designed to enhance safety from donation to transfusion. In addition, the company supplies tools, information and services that enable hospitals, pharmacies and healthcare professionals to efficiently deliver expert medical care.
Grifols, with more than 24,000 employees in 30 countries, is committed to a sustainable business model that sets the standard for continuous innovation, quality, safety and ethical leadership.
In 2019, Grifols' economic impact in its core countries of operation was 8.5 billion euros. The company also generated 148,000 jobs, including indirect and induced.
The company's class A shares are listed on the Spanish Stock Exchange, where they are part of the Ibex-35 (MCE:GRF). Grifols non-voting class B shares are listed on the Mercado Continuo (MCE:GRF.P) and on the U.S. NASDAQ through ADRs (NASDAQ:GRFS).
Alkahest is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to discovering and developing treatments for neurodegenerative and age-related diseases with transformative therapies targeting the aging plasma proteome. The Alkahest pipeline includes multiple therapeutic candidates ranging from selected plasma fractions to protein-targeted interventions which aim to slow the detrimental biological processes of aging. Alkahest is developing novel plasma-based therapies in collaboration with Grifols, a global healthcare company and leading producer of plasma therapies.
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