Vertex to acquire ViaCyte, with the goal of accelerating its potentially curative VX-880 programmes in Type 1 diabetes. ViaCyte brings tools, technologies and assets with potential to accelerate development of VX-880, Vertex’s fully differentiated, insulin-producing, stem cell-derived islets.
On July 11 2022 Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated announced that the company has entered into a definitive agreement under which Vertex will acquire ViaCyte, a privately held biotechnology company focused on delivering novel stem cell-derived cell replacement therapies as a functional cure for Type 1 diabetes (T1D), for $320m.
Reshma Kewalramani, M.D., Chief Executive Officer and President of Vertex, said, “VX-880 has successfully demonstrated clinical proof of concept in T1D, and the acquisition of ViaCyte will accelerate our goal of transforming, if not curing T1D by expanding our capabilities and bringing additional tools, technologies and assets to our current stem cell-based programs.”
Vertex’s VX-880, an investigational allogeneic stem cell-derived, fully differentiated, insulin-producing islet cell therapy for T1D, has already achieved proof-of-concept with highly promising safety and efficacy results from an ongoing Phase 1/2 study which continues to enroll and dose patients. The acquisition of ViaCyte provides Vertex with complementary assets, capabilities and technologies including additional human stem cell lines, intellectual property around stem cell differentiation, and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) manufacturing facilities for cell-based therapies that could accelerate Vertex’s ongoing T1D programmes. The acquisition also provides access to novel hypoimmune stem cell assets via the ViaCyte collaboration with CRISPR Therapeutics.
Michael Yang, President and Chief Executive Officer of ViaCyte, added, “ViaCyte’s commitment to finding a functional cure for T1D is shared by Vertex, and this acquisition will allow Vertex to deploy ViaCyte’s tools, technologies and assets toward the development of Vertex’s multiple cell replacement therapy approaches designed to reduce the burden of millions of people living with T1D worldwide.”
Vertex anticipates the acquisition will close later this year. ViaCyte has received support for its research from JDRF and the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine and has established collaborative partnerships with leading companies to advance its therapies for T1D.
Vertex is a global biotechnology company that invests in scientific innovation to create transformative medicines for people with serious diseases. Founded in 1989 in Cambridge, Mass., Vertex’s global headquarters is now located in Boston’s Innovation District and its international headquarters is in London.