Novartis has acquired US-based hematologic and inflammatory disorder theraputics developer Selexys Pharmaceuticals in a deal valued at approximately $665m.
The company exercised its acquisition right after receiving results of the Sustain study, a Phase II trial evaluating the use of an anti-P-selectin antibody called SelG1, in the reduction of vaso-occlusive pain crises in patients with sickle-cell disease (SCD).
Novartis oncology CEO Bruno Strigini said: "Sickle-cell disease affects millions of people around the world and there are limited therapies available for treatment of vaso-occlusive pain crises, a very common complication of the disease.
"With this acquisition, Novartis is able to leverage its leadership in haematology research to advance development of a potential new treatment option for patients living with this debilitating condition."
SCD is a hereditary blood disorder characterised by sickle-shaped red blood cells and a lifelong disease with many forms that can range in clinical severity, from asymptomatic to life-threatening.
The major contributors for healthcare encounters in SCD are Vaso-occlusive crises or pain crises that occur episodically when these red blood cells block blood flow through blood vessels.
Selexys Pharmaceuticals president and CEO Dr Scott Rollins said: "Furthermore, the acquisition of Selexys by Novartis represents an important step in the continued development of SelG1, a novel, potential first-in-class therapy for patients with this underserved life-threatening disease."
Novartis obtained the right to acquire Selexys and SelG1 in 2012.
Image: Novartis headquarters in Basel. Photo: courtesy of --Andrew- from Flickr.