Updated on 27 May 2016
NYSE-listed Baxalta Incorporated, Velocity Pharmaceutical Development LLC (VPD) and Astellas Pharma Inc have announced that Thunderbolt Inc, a company established by Vitesse Biologics, acquired all rights to the Tokyo-headquartered Astellas' BAFF/APRIL dual antagonist program through an asset purchase agreement. The BAFF/APRIL dual antagonists will be developed for B cell disorders including systemic lupus erythematosus.
Vitesse Biologics, LLC, a Delaware Company based in South San Francisco, Calif., develops antibody and protein-based therapeutics in the areas of immunology, hematology and oncology.
"With this asset purchase from Astellas and the creation of Thunderbolt, we are excited to begin to accelerate the development of the BAFF/APRIL dual antagonist program with the potential to deliver innovative treatments for patients with unmet needs," said John Orloff, Head of Research & Development and Chief Scientific Officer, Baxalta. "This is the first company formed under the Vitesse Biologics platform, and we look forward to continuing to build our portfolio to explore new concepts and technologies."
"We are pleased to have created this first company as a result of the novel model in drug development which leverages the basic science and clinical expertise of Mayo Clinic researchers with the drug development and manufacturing expertise of our partners, to accelerate patient therapies for B cell disorders," said Andrew D. Badley, M.D., Director of Drug Discovery and the Office of Translation to Practice, Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCaTS) at Mayo Clinic. "Mayo researchers pursue discoveries that will deliver hope and better health to people today and into the future."
"I am really pleased that Velocity, Mayo Clinic and Baxalta which have strong capabilities of antibody and protein-based therapeutics in the areas of immunology, hematology, and oncology will proceed the development of BAFF/APRIL dual antagonist," said Kenji Yasukawa, Ph.D., Chief Strategy Officer, Astellas. "We expect that innovative treatments could be delivered for patients who suffer from B cell disorders including systemic lupus erythematosus."