Idera Pharmaceuticals acquires rare orphan disease company Aceragen

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Idera Pharmaceuticals, a US-based biopharma company, has acquired Aceragen, a biotechnology company focused on developing drugs for rare, orphan pulmonary,  and rheumatic diseases.

The acquisition was carried out through an all-stock deal in a ratio under which original Idera Pharmaceuticals’ shareholders will own a stake of around 33% in the combined company, while Aceragen’s shareholders will hold the remaining stake of 67%.

Aceragen’s co-founder, president, and CEO John Taylor has been appointed as the president and CEO of the enlarged Idera Pharmaceuticals.

Vincent Milano, who was the CEO of Idera Pharmaceuticals before this deal has been appointed as the chair of the board of the combined biotech company.

Vincent Milano said: “After a thorough evaluation of strategic alternatives, we and our Board of Directors believe this acquisition represents the highest potential value creation opportunity for Idera’s stockholders.

“We are excited by the potential for Aceragen’s rare disease portfolio to result in meaningful therapeutic options for patients, and I am looking forward to being part of this new stage of Idera’s journey.”

According to Idera Pharmaceuticals, the enlarged firm will have enough cash to provide runway into the third quarter of 2023 to fund the advancement of Aceragen’s pipeline, which includes ACG-701 and ACG-801, to key clinical milestones in 2023.

ACG-701 is said to be a proprietary formulation of sodium fusidate of the US-based rare orphan disease company. It is intended for the treatment of acute pulmonary exacerbations (PEx) resulting from cystic fibrosis (CF) and for melioidosis, a life-threatening infection.

A phase 2 clinical trial of ACG-701 in CF PEx, dubbed REPRIEVE, is likely to start in Q4 2022. The drug candidate has orphan drug designation, fast track status, and Qualified Infectious Disease Product status from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in CF PEx.

In melioidosis, ACG-701 is being evaluated in the phase 2 TERRA clinical trial.

On the other hand, ACG-801 is a recombinant human acid ceramidase, which is being developed by Aceragen as an investigational biologic enzyme replacement therapy for the treatment of Farber disease.

ACG-801, which has orphan drug designation, fast track status, and rare pediatric disease designation from the FDA will be assessed in the ADVANCE clinical study in Farber disease in the first quarter of 2023.

John Taylor said: “This is an important transition for Aceragen. We are delighted to complement Aceragen’s exciting rare disease programs and dedicated team with financial resources, corporate structure, and people from Idera, better enabling us to deliver important therapies for patients living with rare diseases.”

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