Altimmune, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, has agreed to acquire Presidio Partners portfolio company Spitfire Pharma in a deal valued at around $93m (£74.5m).
Velocity Pharmaceutical Development, along with Dr John Nestor, had established Spitfire for the development of SP-1373, a potent GLP-1/Glucagon receptor co-agonist to treat non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
Under the deal, Spitfire shareholders will secure an upfront payment of $5m (£4m) in Altimmune common stock, as well as up to additional $8m (£6.4m) in future regulatory and clinical milestones payable in cash or common stock.
Spitfire shareholders are also provided with an option to secure up to $80m (£64.1m) in sales-based milestones.
Subject to customary closing conditions, the deal is expected to be completed by the end of this month.
Altimmune president and CEO Dr Vipin Garg said: “NASH is a significant unmet need. There are no approved treatments available, and prevalence is growing worldwide as a consequence of an expanding obesity epidemic.
“Compelling preclinical data generated by Spitfire suggests that ALT-801 could reverse obesity, a primary cause of NASH, thereby reducing excess liver fat, inflammation and fibrosis associated with the disease.”
ALT-801 is a peptide-based therapeutic candidate designed for the treatment of underlying metabolic dysfunction that causes NASH, a severe form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
ALT-801, which holds capacity to activate both the GLP-1 and the glucagon receptors, has a similar mechanism of action to the body’s natural dual-acting hormone oxyntomodulin that reduces food intake, stimulates energy expenditure and decreases body weight.
According to the company, the ALT-801 showed better outcome measures in comparison to semaglutide (an approved GLP-1 receptor agonist) or elafibranor (a PPAR alpha/delta agonist currently in development) in the Gubra/Amylin biopsy-proven, diet-induced mouse model of NASH.
Velocity Pharmaceutical Development CEO and Presidio Partners managing director David Collier said: “We believe strongly in the potential of ALT-801 to become an important treatment for NASH and are excited to find a partner with the resources and experience to see this candidate through clinical development.”
Altimmune is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical firm involved in the development of liver disease and immune modulating therapies.