Drug Research
Drug Discovery & Development

Allergan to acquire Tobira Therapeutics in $1.7bn deal

PBR Staff Writer Published 21 September 2016

Allergan has agreed to acquire clinical-stage biopharmaceutical firm Tobira Therapeutics in a deal worth about $1.7bn.

Tobira is engaged in the development and commercialization of therapies for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and other liver diseases.

The deal, which is expected to close by the end of this year, will allow Allergan to expand its worldwide gastroenterology R&D pipeline with the addition of Tobira’s product candidates cenicriviroc (CVC) and evogliptin.

The compounds intend to treat multi-factorial elements of NASH, including inflammation, metabolic syndromes and fibrosi.

CVC is a once-daily, oral phase 3 ready potent immunomodulator which blocks two chemokine receptors, CCR2 and CCR5, that take part in the inflammatory and fibrogenic pathways in NASH, leading liver damage, liver cancer or liver failure.

In a phase 2b study, CVC showed a clinically and statistically significant improvement in fibrosis of at least one stage without worsening of NASH, after one year of treatment. 

Evogliptin, an oral DPP-4 (Dipeptidyl peptidase-4) inhibitor, is being studied in a phase 1 trial evaluating the safety, tolerability and steady-state pharmacokinetic parameters of the compound when administered with and without CVC.

Allergan will pay Tobira an upfront payment of $28.35 per share, which will be followed by an additional $49.84 per share tied to several development and regulatory milestones.

Allergan CEO and president Brent Saunders said: "The acquisition of Tobira is a strategic R&D investment within a white space area of our global Gastroenterology franchise and an opportunity to advance the development of novel treatments for NASH.”

The latest deal follows Allergan’s recent agreement to acquire US-based clinical-stage biotechnology firm Vitae Pharmaceuticals for about $639m.

Vitae discovers and develops small molecule drugs for diseases with significant unmet medical needs.

Image: Allergan agrees to acquire Tobira Therapeutics. Photo: courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.