Shire, a global specialty biopharmaceutical company, has signed an agreement to acquire Lotus Tissue Repair, a Cambridge, Mass.-based biotechnology company developing the first and only protein replacement therapy currently being investigated for the treatment of dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (DEB).
DEB is a devastating orphan disease for which there is no currently approved treatment option other than palliative care. Subject to customary government approvals, Shire will purchase the company for an upfront payment and certain contingent payments based on the achievement of certain safety and development milestones.
Shire's Human Genetic Therapies business will undertake the further development of Lotus Tissue Repair's lead product candidate, a proprietary recombinant form of human collagen Type VII (rC7). The product is in late pre-clinical development and has the potential to be a first-in-class systemic therapy for the treatment of DEB. This acquisition expands Shire's commitment to finding treatments for epidermolysis bullosa (EB), which also includes ABH001, Shire's regenerative medicine product currently being investigated as a dermal substitute therapy for the treatment of non-healing wounds in patients with EB.
"rC7 protein replacement therapy has the potential to provide a first-in-class disease-modifying treatment for these children," said Dr. Philip J. Vickers, global head of R&D, Shire Human Genetic Therapies. “We plan to apply our proven ability to develop protein replacement therapies for rare genetic diseases to progress rC7 as a possible groundbreaking treatment that offers hope to patients with DEB."
Lotus Tissue Repair is a private company launched in 2011 by a proven team of biotechnology entrepreneurs, world-leading experts in rC7 protein replacement therapy for DEB and top-tier life sciences investor, Third Rock Ventures.