Novartis Agrees $8.7 Billion Deal to Acquire AveXis
03 May 2018
One of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, Novartis, has entered an agreement to purchase the relatively small gene therapy company, AveXis, which has been instrumental to the development and testing of the SMA gene therapy, AVXS-101.
AVXS-101, which has “Breakthrough Therapy” status to facilitate the drug approval process (for more information click here), uses harmless, genetically engineered viruses to increase SMN protein levels. A Phase I trial of AVXS-101 with SMA Type 1 patients has recently been completed and showed that the therapy is safe, well tolerated, and able to improve and help sustain muscle function in young infants with the condition (for more information click here).
The purchase of AveXis by such a large company will likely accelerate and facilitate the development of this exciting gene therapy with great potential for the treatment of SMA.
The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is expected to be completed by mid-2018.