AstraZeneca subsidiary Alexion has exercised an option to acquire all remaining equity in Caelum Biosciences for a total of up to $500m.

Caelum and Alexion initially entered a partnership in 2019, through which Alexion acquired a minority equity interest and the exclusive option for the acquisition of the remaining of Caelum’s equity.

Alexion presently consolidates Caelum and indicates a non-controlling interest of $150m.

On concluding the acquisition, Caelum will receive the agreed option exercise price of approximately $150m from Alexion.

Alexion will also make additional potential payments of up to $350m on meeting regulatory as well as commercial milestones to Caelum.

Through the Caelum takeover, Alexion will gain rights to the former’s potentially first-in-class fibril-reactive monoclonal antibody (mAb), CAEL-101, to treat light chain (AL) amyloidosis.

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CAEL-101 is an antibody that can potentially attach to misfolded light chain proteins and amyloid and shows binding to both kappa and lambda subtypes.

At present, CAEL-101 is being analysed in the Phase III Cardiac Amyloid Reaching for Extended Survival (CARES) clinical programme administered along with standard-of-care treatment for AL amyloidosis.

Furthermore, two similar Phase III trials with Mayo stage IIIa disease and those with Mayo stage IIIb disease, respectively, are underway.

Alexion CEO Marc Dunoyer said: “With a median survival time of fewer than 18 months following diagnosis, there is an urgent need for new treatments for this devastating disease.

“CAEL-101 has the potential to be the first therapy to target and remove amyloid deposits from organ tissues, improve organ function and ultimately lead to longer lives for these patients.”

The transaction is anticipated to conclude on 5 October.

A rare disease, AL amyloidosis occurs when misfolded amyloid proteins build up in organs in the body, including the heart and kidneys, causing substantial organ damage and failure, which could be fatal.

In July, AstraZeneca concluded the acquisition of Alexion Pharmaceuticals for a total consideration of $39bn or $175 per share.