Vertex acquires Semma Therapeutics for $950M to develop diabetes cure
Category: #health  By Paroma Bhattacharya  Date: 2019-09-05
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Vertex acquires Semma Therapeutics for $950M to develop diabetes cure
  • The acquisition for $950 million has been an all-cash deal.
     
  • The strategic acquisition is expected to align itself perfectly with Vertex’s aim to create revolutionary medicines.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company based in Massachusetts, is acquiring Semma Therapeutics with its stem cell-based treatments for diabetes for $950 million which is slated to wind up in the fourth quarter.

Semma was founded by Douglas Melton, a Ph.D., in the year 2014 to work on a possible cure for Type 1 diabetes. The idea has been to turn the undifferentiated pluripotent stem cells into pancreatic beta cells that produce insulin and are capable of being transplanted into patients. The company later launched itself with an investment of $44 million in the Series A round along with a partnership with Novartis, that the company chose over other suitors focused on diabetes for its expertise in cell therapy.

Apparently, Semma raised a massive $114 million in the Series B round in 2017 as well as hired Bastiano Sanna as its CEO. Sanna had been Novartis’ global head of the programs associated with stem cell transplant. Vertex is currently counting on the treatment that is capable of replacing the daily injections along with chronic care that comprises as a treatment for people suffering from Type 1 diabetes.

Vertex’s CEO, Jeffery Leiden M.D., Ph.D., who is expected to pass on his position to Reshma Kewalramani, company Chief Medical Officer, next year in April, stated that the acquisition will align perfectly with the company’s strategy of making investments in scientific innovation that would create revolutionary medicines for people who are suffering from critical diseases in specialty markets.

Apparently, Semma has two-pronged approaches for treating diabetes. The first approach will require a direct transplant of pancreatic cells into the patient’s liver, so that will help in the production of insulin to control the levels of blood sugar. The second approach comprises a device which protects and delivers the transplanted cells from the immune system of the patient.

 

Source Credit- https://www.fiercebiotech.com/biotech/vertex-plunks-down-950m-for-stem-cell-player-semma-therapeutics



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Paroma Bhattacharya

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Paroma Bhattacharya

Paroma currently works as a content developer for Algosonline, MSF and a series of alike platforms. Fortified with a post-graduation degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, she delved head long into a writing career, creating resourceful and information enriched ...

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