Tetra Therapeutics in Grand Rapids has entered into a definitive agreement for Shionogi and Co. Ltd. in Japan to acquire Tetra. Shionogi will obtain global rights to Tetra’s entire portfolio of compounds for the treatment of brain disorders associated with cognitive and memory deficits.
Under the terms of the agreement, Tetra will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Shionogi, and Shionogi will have the global rights to all Tetra compounds, including BPN14770, a selective inhibitor of phosphodiesterase-4D for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, Fragile X syndrome, and other indications.
Based on the achievement of certain predetermined regulatory and commercial milestones, the total transaction value may be up to $500 million. The drug has received Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for BPN14770’s treatment of Fragile X syndrome.
The two companies entered into a collaboration and investment agreement in 2018 and, earlier this year, announced an expanded alliance to develop and commercialize BPN14770.
“With over a decade of research, development, and investment, Tetra has demonstrated the unique ability of allosteric inhibitors of phosphodiesterase-4D to deliver disease-modifying potential in central nervous system disorders,” says Mark Gurney, chairman and CEO of Tetra.
“Shionogi has been a valued partner for the last two and half years, and with the company’s development and commercialization expertise, we believe Shionogi is ideally positioned to bring the potential of our platform to patients and provide new treatment options within these areas of urgent medical need. This is a great outcome for our investors and stakeholders.”
Currently, Tetra is conducting Phase 2 study in Fragile X syndrome and recently completed a Phase 2 study in Alzheimer’s disease in the U.S.
“We are excited to combine Tetra’s portfolio with our drug development capabilities to further advance BPN14770 in (central nervous system) disorders, including AD and FXS,” says Dr. Isao Teshirogi, president and CEO of Shionogi. “Tetra’s deep level of drug discovery know-how in the CNS area will help us to solve for the cognitive disorders our ageing population is facing, and we believe we are well-positioned to bring BPN14770 to patients in need.”
Preclinical animal models show that BPN14770 has the potential to promote the maturation of connections between neurons, which is impaired in patients with Fragile X syndrome, and to protect connections between neurons, which otherwise are lost in patients with Alzheimer’s.