Otsuka Pharmaceutical (Japan) and Visterra (USA) announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which Otsuka will acquire Visterra for approximately $430 million.
The Otsuka and Visterra boards of directors have approved the transaction. The deal is expected to be closed in the third quarter of 2018.
Visterra’s Hierotope platform, comprised of novel computational and experimental technologies, enables the design and engineering of precision antibody-based therapies that specifically bind to, and modulate, disease targets that are not adequately addressed by current technologies in antibody therapeutics. Visterra’s pipeline includes programs targeting IgA nephropathy and other kidney diseases, cancer, chronic pain and infectious diseases.
Otsuka’s research areas are in psychiatric and neurological diseases, hematological cancers, and kidney, cardiovascular, and infectious diseases. The company is placing emphasis on proprietary drug discovery and development platforms, including antibody development platforms, as a means to increase the efficiency of drug discovery across its programs and as an addition to conventional R&D processes.
The extensive overlap in disease areas prioritized by both companies reflects a shared, deeper commitment to tackle the most difficult treatment challenges through innovative approaches.
Following completion of the acquisition, Visterra will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Otsuka America, Inc., which is a U.S. holding company and a wholly owned subsidiary of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. of Japan. Visterra will continue to operate its business and develop its pipeline as a member of the Otsuka family of companies, retaining its talent and its location in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Otsuka Pharmaceutical is a global healthcare company focused on the challenging area of mental health and also has research programs in several under-addressed diseases including tuberculosis.