Audentes Springs on Purchase by Astellas

Audentes Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:BOLD) agreed to be acquired by Astellas Pharma for $60/share in cash.

The deal, according to Tuesday morning’s press release, enables Astellas to access the near-term growth opportunity of AT132, in development for the treatment of XLMTM, a serious, life-threatening, rare neuromuscular disease that is characterized by extreme muscle weakness, respiratory failure and early death.

Accelerates the development of a robust pipeline of potentially best-in-class genetic medicines for rare neuromuscular diseases, by combining Astellas’ scientific capabilities and global resources with Audentes’ AAV gene therapy technology platform, in-house large-scale cGMP manufacturing and neuromuscular development expertise.

"We are very pleased to enter into this merger agreement with Astellas," stated Audentes CEO Matthew Patterson. "With its focus on innovative science and a global network of research, development and commercialization resources, we believe that operating as part of the Astellas organization optimally positions us to advance our pipeline programs and serve our patients."

The acquisition of Audentes represents a key step in the expansion of the Astellas Focus Area approach, under which Astellas strives to create innovative medicines for diseases with high unmet medical needs by identifying unique combinations of biology and therapeutic modality/technology based on emerging science.

In addition to the four Primary Focus Areas in which Astellas currently prioritizes its investment, with the acquisition of Audentes, the company is adding a fifth Primary Focus Area in Genetic Regulation, under which gene therapy will be a key driver of the company’s future growth.

Audentes shares leaped $30.28, or 105.8% to $58.89