KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. – 8 June 2020 – Global biotherapeutics leader CSL Behring announced today that it has agreed to acquire Vitaeris Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the phase III development of clazakizumab, an anti-interleukin-6 (IL-6) monoclonal antibody (MAB), for the potential treatment of chronic active antibody-mediated rejection (AMR), the leading cause of long-term rejection in kidney transplant recipients. The companies entered into a strategic partnership in 2017 to expedite the development of clazakizumab with the option for CSL Behring to acquire Vitaeris, along with this important product candidate. With this acquisition, clazakizumab joins CSL842 and CSL964 as part of CSL Behring’s portfolio of products in late-stage development to address significant unmet needs in the transplant community.
“Clazakizumab has been a promising monoclonal antibody in the Transplant therapeutic area since we started working with Vitaeris several years ago,” said Bill Mezzanotte, M.D., Executive Vice President, Head of R&D, CSL Behring. “Acquiring Vitaeris and their associate expertise helps us to continue to grow our strategic scientific platform of recombinant proteins and antibodies. We look forward to continuing to advance this treatment candidate as a potential option for people experiencing rejection – an area where current treatment options for transplant recipients are limited, at best.”
Vitaeris President and CEO Kevin Chow, Ph.D. said, “We’re pleased to become part of CSL Behring, a well-established, global industry leader, and know that the future of clazakizumab is in excellent hands. Together, we have already achieved much progress through our partnership over the past few years and are now in an even stronger position to realize our collective goal of addressing one of the greatest unmet needs in the organ transplant community."
Clazakizumab is a potent, monoclonal antibody that binds to and inhibits IL-6, an important driver of the inflammatory response that is known to play a key role in transplant rejection. While advances in transplantation techniques and therapies have markedly improved short-term success rates over the past 15 – 20 years, long-term graft survival remains one of the greatest challenges, with AMR recognized as the most common cause of long-term kidney allograft failure. There are currently no approved treatments for transplant recipients who develop antibody-mediated rejection. Continued progress and ultimately effective solutions for transplant recipients in this area is of high importance to CSL Behring as well as the global transplant community.
For over 100 years, CSL Behring has put patients first by addressing the world’s most serious, complicated and rare disorders. The company is now bringing that same commitment to transplantation; Its mission is to address unmet patient needs before, during, and after transplantation, to enable patients to get the very most out of the gift of life.
About CSL Behring
CSL Behring is a global biotherapeutics leader driven by its promise to save lives. Focused on serving patients’ needs by using the latest technologies, we develop and deliver innovative therapies that are used to treat coagulation disorders, primary immune deficiencies, hereditary angioedema, respiratory disease, and neurological disorders. The company’s products are also used in cardiac surgery, burn treatment and to prevent hemolytic disease of the newborn.
CSL Behring operates one of the world’s largest plasma collection networks, CSL Plasma. The parent company, CSL Limited (ASX:CSL;USOTC:CSLLY), headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, employs more than 26,000 people, and delivers its life-saving therapies to people in more than 70 countries. For inspiring stories about the promise of biotechnology, visit Vita CSLBehring.com/vita and follow us on Twitter.com/CSLBehring.
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