AbbVie Pumps up Autoimmune Portfolio by Acquiring Landos

Continuing a trend, yesterday AbbVie announced it will acquire Landos, a clinical-stage biotech focused on the development of novel, oral therapeutics for patients with autoimmune diseases. Landos’ lead investigational asset is NX-13, a first-in-class, oral NLRX1 agonist (a member of the NOD-like receptor family) with a bimodal mechanism of action (MOA), which is anti-inflammatory and facilitates epithelial repair.

Autoimmune diseases affect approximately one in ten individuals. The market for this category of diseases is expected to reach $185B over the next five years.

Last week, Mirador Therapeutics launched with more than $400 million to “revolutionize precision medicine for immune-mediated inflammatory and fibrotic diseases,” according to their release. They aim to do this by leveraging their proprietary Mirador360—a repository of immune-mediated disease data. Prometheus Biosciences, was acquired by Merck for $10.8 billion in 2023. Prometheus’ focus was also precision medicine for immune-mediated diseases. Both companies were founded by Mark C. McKenna.

“With this acquisition, we aim to advance the clinical development of NX-13, a differentiated, first-in-class, oral asset with the potential to make a difference in the lives of people living with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease,” said Roopal Thakkar, MD, senior vice president, chief medical officer, global therapeutics, AbbVie.

“This announcement is a testament to Landos’ talented team and their commitment to our mission of creating oral treatments that can address a therapeutic gap,” said Gregory Oakes, president and chief executive officer, Landos. “NX-13 and its bimodal MOA have the potential to provide a novel approach to the treatment of ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease. With AbbVie’s therapeutic area leadership and expertise in global development, they are the right company to further advance NX-13.”

NLRX1 regulates immunometabolism and inflammation, and its activation impacts multiple mechanisms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) pathogenesis. The randomized controlled Phase II NEXUS clinical trial evaluating NX-13 in UC is currently enrolling patients in the United States and Europe (NCT05785715).

AbbVie will acquire Landos at $20.42 per share in cash upon closing, or approximately $137.5 million in the aggregate, plus one non-tradable contingent value right per share with a value of up to $11.14 per share, or approximately an additional $75 million in the aggregate, subject to the achievement of a clinical development milestone. The proposed transaction is expected to close in the second calendar quarter of 2024.

NEXUS is a Phase II proof-of-concept clinical trial evaluating NX-13 in patients with moderate to severe UC. NEXUS is a randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multiple dose, 12-week induction study evaluating 80 patients with moderate to severe UC with a long-term extension (LTE) period. All subjects will be randomized to receive either 250 mg or 750 mg immediate release NX-13, or placebo. The primary objective of the trial will be to evaluate the clinical efficacy, safety and pharmacokinetics of oral NX-13 versus placebo (NCT05785715

Landos is exploring two pathways to find “novel immunometabolic targets.” The NLRX1 pipeline includes candidates being explored for UC, Crohn’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, neurodegenerative disorders, asthma, and eosinophilic disorders. The second pipeline is built around the PLXDC2 pathway, which includes candidates for rheumatoid arthritis, UC, and Crohn’s.

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