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Alexion drops kidney disease drug program that was part of Achillion’s $ 930 million buyout last year

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Last fall, Alexion Pharmaceuticals spent over $ 900 million to acquire a company with a drug developing for a rare kidney disease. Thursday he dropped the program.

The Boston-based biotech company said Thursday in the second quarter of earnings that, following a Phase II data review, it would abandon the development of ALXN2040 in C3, or C3G, glomerulopathy, a disease with an incidence of approximately 1 -2 million per year is diagnosed in 1-2% of kidney biopsies.

Alexion’s shares rose 2.6% on the Nasdaq on Thursday morning after the company’s earnings release.

The company claimed that data from the phase II study showed that the clinical response to ALXN2040, a factor D inhibitor whose chemical name is danicopan, was suboptimal due to insufficient pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic response and incomplete inhibition of the alternatively. However, the company said that a more potent D-factor inhibitor, ALXN2050 could also be evaluated. ALXN2050 is currently undergoing Phase II study in paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria. Alexion is also planning to begin a Phase III study of ALXN2040 as adjunctive therapy to C5 inhibitor therapy – which means Soliris (eculizumab) or Ultomiris (ravulizumab-cwvz) – for PNH patients later this year. . The test page is already published on ClinicalTrials.gov and is listed as not yet recruited.

Both drugs were part of the $ 930 million acquisition of Alexion Achillion Pharmaceuticals, which was announced in October 2019. At the time of the acquisition, Alexion executives said the deal offered an opportunity to diversify. in complement-mediated diseases in addition to those on which he focused, such as PNH and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), using oral therapies. At the same time, they downplayed the proposal that it was an attempt to protect the company from biosimilar competition to Soliris, its flagship product, which risks losing patent protection in the coming years.

Soliris posted sales of $ 975.5 million in the second quarter, according to earnings reports. Long-term successor Ultomiris posted sales of $ 251.1 million. Net product sales in the quarter were over $ 1.4 billion, compared to $ 1.2 billion in the second quarter of 2019.

In a note to investors, Cowen analyst Phil Nadeau noted that earnings and earnings per share exceeded consensus, showing that its core business continues to perform well.

Photo: Hywards, Getty Images

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