Vertex enters into a definitive agreement to acquire Alpine Immune Sciences

Vertex Enters Into Agreement to Acquire Alpine Immune Sciences
Vertex Enters Into Agreement to Acquire Alpine Immune Sciences (Image from Freepik)

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated and Alpine Immune Sciences, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing innovative, protein-based immunotherapies, yesterday announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement under which Vertex will acquire Alpine for $65 per share or approximately $4.9 billion in cash. The transaction was unanimously approved by both the Vertex and Alpine Boards of Directors and is anticipated to close later this quarter.

Alpine’s lead molecule, povetacicept (ALPN-303), is a highly potent and effective dual antagonist of BAFF (B cell activating factor) and APRIL (a proliferation inducing ligand). Through Phase 2 development, povetacicept has shown potential best-in-class efficacy in IgA nephropathy (IgAN). IgAN is a serious, progressive, autoimmune disease of the kidney that can lead to end-stage-renal disease. There are no approved therapies that target the underlying cause of IgAN. IgAN is the most common cause of primary (idiopathic) glomerulonephritis worldwide, affecting approximately 130,000 people in the U.S. Povetacicept is on track to enter Phase 3 clinical development in the second half of 2024.

Due to its mechanism of action as a dual BAFF/APRIL antagonist, povetacicept holds the potential to benefit patients with other serious autoimmune diseases of the kidney, such as membranous nephropathy and lupus nephritis, as well as autoimmune cytopenias. Clinical studies in renal indications and autoimmune cytopenias are ongoing.

Vertex and Alpine Immune Sciences

“Alpine is a compelling strategic fit for Vertex and furthers our ambition of using scientific innovation to create transformative medicines targeting serious diseases with high unmet need in specialty markets,” said Reshma Kewalramani, M.D., FASN, Chief Executive Officer and President of Vertex. “We look forward to welcoming the talented Alpine team to Vertex and believe that together we can bring povetacicept, a potential best-in-class treatment for IgAN to patients faster. We also look forward to fully exploring povetacicept’s potential as a ‘pipeline-in-a-product’ and adding Alpine’s protein engineering and immunotherapy capabilities to Vertex’s toolbox.”

“Today’s announcement marks a new chapter for Alpine,” said Mitchell H. Gold, M.D., Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Alpine. “It became clear during our discussions with the Vertex team that we share many core values, including a commitment to patients, our employees, and an intense drive for innovation. Povetacicept has demonstrated potential best-in-class attributes in IgA nephropathy and has broad development potential across a number of other autoimmune and inflammatory conditions with significant unmet need. We look forward to the opportunity, now more than ever, to make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients worldwide as part of Vertex.”

Transaction Terms

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Vertex will acquire Alpine for $65 per share in cash, for a total equity value of approximately $4.9 billion, or approximately $4.6 billion net of estimated cash acquired. A subsidiary of Vertex will commence a cash tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of Alpine common stock.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2024, subject to certain conditions, including the tender of a majority of the outstanding shares of Alpine common stock and the expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and other customary conditions.


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