Baxter is paying aptamer therapeutics firm Archemix somewhere in the region of $30 million to acquire all the latter’s haemophilia-related assets plus an exclusive license to its lead hemophilia candidate, ARC19499. Under terms of the deal Archemix could receive another $285 million in milestone payments. ARC19499 is currently undergoing Phase I evaluation in the U.K. The candidate is a synthetic, subcutaneously administered compound designed to block tissue factor pathway inhibitor activity and so boost blood clotting. Archemix claims the treatment could potentially reduce the need for replacement factor therapy in patients with hemophilias A and B.
“This anti-TFPI program is an important addition to other Baxer hemophilia development programs focusing on longer-acting rFVIII and rFIX and nonintravenous therapies,” remarks Hartmut Ehrlich, M.D., vp global R&D and medical affairs for Baxter’s bioscience business.
Archemix is focused on the development of aptamer-based therapeutics for a range of diseases, both in house and through drug discovery collaborations and product-focused partnerships. The firm aims to concentrate its in-house development on rare hematological diseases and develop products for chronic indications by teaming up with third parties.
Lead in-house candidate, ARC1779 (TMA/TTP), is a PEGylated aptamer. Administered intravenously, the drug is designed to inhibit the platelet-binding function of von Willebrand Factor for the treatment of thrombotic microangiopathies including thrombocytopenic purpura. Phase II trials are in progress.
Archemix also has an ongoing multitarget inflammatory diseases partnership with GlaxoSmithKline. Product-based partnerships are in addition ongoing with Antisoma (for the anticancer candidate AS1411), Arca (formerly Nuvelo, for the development of short-acting coagulation-targeting aptamers for use in acute cardiovascular procedures), and Regado Biosciences (for development of anticoagulants for use in acute coronary syndrome patients undergoing PCI and CABG).
Archemix has separately licensed various aspects of its aptamer technology and IP to Isis, Noxxon, Ribomic, and SomaLogic.