Astellas to acquire Ogeda SA

Japanese pharma major Astellas has announced it will take over private Belgian drug developer Ogeda S.A. for €800m.


With the acquisition Astellas’ expands its clinical pipeline with fezolinetant, an oral compound targeting the NK3 receptor. The lead compound of Ogeda (formerly Euroscreen S.A.), fezolinetant (ESN364), is currently being developed in three Phase IIa programmes to treat different conditions: menopausal hot flashes, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and uterine fibroids. Furthermore, Ogeda’s preclinical ulcerative colitis programme ESN 282 has been partnered with Merck & Co. Ogeda’s third published compound ESN601 in discovery stage is designed to treat autoimmune diseases.

Under the deal supported by both companies’ shareholders, Astellas will pay a total of €800m, €500m of which in cash and up to €300m in milestone payments dependent on fezolinetant’s clinical and regulatory progress. Astellas expects fezolinetant to contribute to its mid-to-long term growth. Upon completion of the transaction, Ogeda would become a wholly owned subsidiary of Astellas. The closing of the transaction is expected to be finalised in Q2/2017.

In January, Ogeda announced positive results from a Phase IIa study for the non-hormonal treatment of menopause-related vasomotor symptoms (“MR-VMS”). In 80 patients, Fezolinetant reduced the frequency of moderate-to-severe HF at week-4 by 89% from baseline compared to 38% for placebo, and 93% at week-12, compared to 54% for placebo. Fezolinetant also reduced HF severity at week 4 by 60% from baseline compared to 12% for placebo, and 70% at week-12 compared to 23% for placebo. No severe adverse events were reported in either treatment group. Mild-to-moderate adverse events were reported in 67% of the fezolinetant group and 80% in the placebo group.

“The transaction fits with our strategy to deliver innovative drugs in therapeutic areas with high unmet medical needs. Ogeda has been pioneering the development of a NK3 receptor antagonist fezolinetant for the treatment of MR-VMS,” commented Yoshihiko Hatanaka, President and CEO, Astellas. 

Jean Combalbert, CEO of Ogeda said, “We look forward to developing fezolinetant, first non-hormonal treatment of Hot Flashes (HF)/ MR-VMS, inside a leading global pharmaceutical company.”


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