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Astellas to merge with iota
Posted on Thursday, 15 October 2020 13:21
Astellas Pharma, through a US subsidiary, has signed off on a deal to buy California-headquartered biotechnology company iota Biosciences for USD 304.00 million.

The consideration includes an upfront sum of USD 127.50 million, as well as a potential earnout of USD 176.50 million, dependent on certain milestones being achieved.

Astellas and iota previously entered into a research and development (R&D) agreement in August 2019 to jointly conduct R&D activities associated with the target’s ultrasonic-powered bioelectronic devices.

Subject to customary closing conditions, the acquisition is expected to complete during the third quarter of the buyer’s fiscal year ended 31st March 2021.

Formed in 2017, iota offers millimetre-sized ultrasonic-powered bioelectronic devices, known as neutral dust, which can be placed anywhere in the body and interact directly with the central nervous system.

The wireless implants allow doctors to identify the internal causes of disease and are used in conjunction, or as an alternative to, traditional forms of medicine.

Following the deal, Astellas will use iota’s products as a platform to expand its Rx+ business, which uses personal patient data to help prevent disease onset and slow progression, while expanding options for people with limited access to current therapeutics.

Kenji Yasukawa, chief executive of the buyer, said: “I believe that iota’s technology is a promising core technology that can be applied not only to the current programs we are working on, but to broader types of diseases that have yet to be worked on.”

Astellas also plans to spend USD 125.00 million over the next five years to finance the target’s expansion.

Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, shows there have been 4,457 deals targeting companies which provide research and development in the physical, engineering and life sciences industries announced globally in 2020 to date.

Bristol-Myers Squibb agreed to acquire US-based MyoKardia for USD 13.10 billion in the most valuable of these.

© Zephus Ltd