Baxter International Inc. has agreed to acquire the hemophilia-related assets of Archemix, a privately held biopharmaceutical company. According to the Baxter press release, the lead product associated with the arrangement is ARC19499, a synthetic, subcutaneously administered hemophilia therapy currently in a phase I clinical trial in the United Kingdom. ARC19499 blocks tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI) activity, augmenting and improving blood clotting. It potentially reduces the frequency of factor therapy use for patients with hemophilia A and B.
ARC19499 is an aptamer, one of a new therapeutic class of small molecules. Aptamers are smaller than proteins or biologics and have been developed for subcutaneous administration of drug therapies. So far the Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of one aptamer, Macugen®, to treat age-related macular degeneration.
“Baxter is committed to optimizing hemophilia care and improving the lives of people living with hemophilia around the world,” said Hartmut Ehrlich, MD, vice president, global research and development and medical affairs, for Baxter's BioScience business. “This anti-TFPI program is an important addition to other Baxter hemophilia development programs focusing on longer-acting rFVIII and rFIX and non-intravenous therapies.”
The deal is expected to be completed by the end of 2010.
Source: The Wall Street Journal and Baxter press release, both dated November 19, 2010