AbbVie has entered a definitive agreement to acquire clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Landos Biopharma for $212.5m.

The strategic acquisition boosts AbbVie’s portfolio in the therapeutic area of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

The transaction includes a cash payment of $137.5m on closure and further payments of up to $75m on meeting clinical development milestones.

Landos develops new oral therapies for autoimmune diseases.

The company’s portfolio has four potentially once-daily therapeutics. The therapies are part of two libraries of immunometabolic modulation pathways, targeting multiple indications within the immunology field.

The lead investigational asset, NX-13, is an oral NLRX1 agonist with a dual anti-inflammatory mechanism that also promotes epithelial repair.

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NLRX1 plays a crucial role in regulating immunometabolism and inflammation. Its activation is significant in managing inflammatory bowel disease pathogenesis.

Landos is advancing NX-13 through the Phase II NEXUS clinical trial for ulcerative colitis (UC), with patient enrolment ongoing in the US and Europe.

This multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, proof-of-concept study is designed to assess NX-13 in 80 patients with moderate to severe UC.

Assessing the clinical efficacy, safety and pharmacokinetics of oral NX-13 against placebo is the trial’s primary objective.

AbbVie global therapeutics senior vice-president and chief medical officer Roopal Thakkar stated: “With this acquisition, we aim to advance the clinical development of NX-13, a differentiated, first-in-class, oral asset with the potential to make a difference in the lives of people living with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.”

The deal is expected to conclude in the second quarter of 2024.

Last month, AbbVie and Tentarix Biotherapeutics signed a deal for the discovery and development of new biologic candidates in oncology and immunology.