Novartis has completed its acquisition of Chinook Therapeutics, a Seattle-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialisation of precision medicines for kidney diseases. The transaction was valued at up to USD $3.5 billion.
Chinook’s pipeline includes two late-stage assets in clinical development to treat Immunoglobulin A Nephropathy (IgAN), atrasentan and zigakibart (BION-1301), as well as earlier stage research and development programs.
Atrasentan, an oral endothelin A receptor antagonist (ERA) currently in Phase 3 development for IgAN with a pivotal readout expected in Q4 2023, has shown significant reductions in proteinuria. Atrasentan is also in early-stage development for other rare kidney diseases. Zigakibart (BION-1301) is a subcutaneously administered anti-APRIL monoclonal antibody which entered Phase 3 development for IgAN in July 2023.
We welcome the Chinook team to Novartis as we expand our renal portfolio and continue our journey to reimagine medicine
- Vas Narasimhan, MD, CEO of Novartis
“We are excited to complete this important transaction and look forward to leveraging our combined resources and expertise to further advance the development of these promising treatments for the benefit of patients with rare, severe chronic kidney diseases,” said Vas Narasimhan, MD, CEO of Novartis. “We welcome the Chinook team to Novartis as we expand our renal portfolio and continue our journey to reimagine medicine.”
Chronic kidney diseases are a severe and growing worldwide problem with a lack of effective treatments often leading to dialysis, transplantation, and high costs to health care systems. Up to 10% of the global population suffers from kidney disease and in the US alone, kidney diseases account for over $130 billion in annual costs.
Drug development in kidney diseases is experiencing a resurgence due to greater understanding of disease biology, utilization of novel translational platforms and patient stratification tools, and emergence of accelerated regulatory pathways based on surrogate endpoints. These dynamics have converged to create attractive opportunities for the development of precision therapies.
Chinook is focused on severe chronic kidney diseases with well-defined clinical pathways, with its lead clinical program, atrasentan, an endothelin A (ETA) receptor antagonist that was in-licensed from AbbVie in 2019.