Apr 11, 2024 - Business

Vertex agrees to pay $4.9 billion for kidney disease drugmaker

Illustration of a medical diagram of kidneys against an abstract background.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Vertex Pharmaceuticals has agreed to buy Alpine Immune Sciences, a Seattle-based biotech focused on inflammatory kidney disease, for around $4.9 billion in cash.

Why it matters: This is the year's largest biotech merger so far, and also the richest deal in Vertex's 25-year history.

  • It also reflects surging industry interest in immunotherapies.

By the numbers: Vertex will pay $65 per Alpine share, which represents a 67% premium over Tuesday's closing price, with the deal expected to close in Q2.

  • Alpine could be required to pay a $173 million termination fee.

Go deeper, per Stat News: "The acquisition gives Vertex a drug called povetacicept, which has shown promise in treating IgA nephropathy (IgAN), an autoimmune disorder of the kidney that can lead to end-stage renal disease and affects 130,000 people in the U.S. The drug will enter Phase 3 clinical development in the second half of the year."

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