USA -Alexion, AstraZeneca’s Rare Disease division has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire LogicBio Therapeutics, in a bid to strengthen the former’s efforts in genomics and rare diseases.
AstraZeneca paid US$39 billion for Alexion Pharmaceuticals in 2020, with a focus on oncology, cardiovascular, renal, metabolic, and respiratory diseases.
Alexion, a rare-disease company, focuses on complement system disorders, which are part of the human immune system.
Alexion’s growth in genomic medicines will be aided by the proposed acquisition of LogicBio’s technology, experienced rare disease R&D team, and expertise in pre-clinical development.
Alexion will pay US$2.07 per share in cash for all outstanding shares of LogicBio under the terms of the acquisition.
This includes its gene editing technology platforms, R&D team, and expertise in preclinical development to support Alexion’s growth in genomic medicines.
AstraZeneca’s acquisition of LogicBio demonstrates the company’s commitment to the rare disease market. In 2021, AstraZeneca pumped a whooping US$200 million to purchase Ionis’ rare disease drug eplontersen.
The agreement to acquire LogicBio follows the identification of genomic medicine as a field in which AstraZeneca’s capabilities can help Alexion.
Alexion and AstraZeneca have collaborated on three genomic medicine projects involving gene therapy, antisense oligonucleotides, and gene editing.
The LogicBio acquisition brings an adeno-associated virus capsid engineering platform to the table. LogicBio uses the body’s natural DNA repair process to treat rare genetic disorders.
LogicBio has two technology platforms for delivering gene therapy to treat genetic diseases, including rare diseases, namely sAAVy and GeneRide.
The sAAVy platform is focused on adeno-associated virus (AAV) capsid technologies to optimize genetic treatment delivery across a wide range of indications and tissues.
For precise gene integration, the GeneRide platform uses homologous recombination. LogicBio also provides its mAAVRx manufacturing process, which aims to improve yields and product quality in the development of AAV-based therapies.
LogicBio is also collaborating with Children’s Medical Research Institute to design and develop libraries of advanced adeno-associated virus (AAV) capsids using sAAVy.
AstraZeneca paid US$500 million for Caelum BioSciences, a rare-disease company, in September 2021.
Caelum’s CAEL-101, a potential first-in-class fibril-reactive monoclonal antibody to treat the rare disease light chain (AL) amyloidosis, was included in that deal.
In a separate development, Sanofi has collaborated with the Californian biotechnology company Scribe Therapeutics in a US$25 million deal that will expand its exploration of new ways to build cancer cell therapies.
Under the agreement, Sanofi will have non-exclusive access to Scribe’s CRISPR-based gene editing technology in order to develop cancer treatments based on modified natural killer (NK) cells.