AbbVie Advances Inflammatory Disease Portfolio with Celsius Therapeutics Acquisition

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This acquisition will give AbbVie acces to Celsius Therapeutics' lead drug candidate, CEL383, a potential first-in-class anti-TREM1 antibody for treating IBD.

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AbbVie announced on June 27, 2024, that it has acquired Celsius Therapeutics (Celsius), a privately held biotechnology company specializing in anti-inflammatory disease therapies. AbbVie acquired Celsius in a $250 million cash deal. With it, AbbVie gains access to CEL383, Celsius' lead investigational drug candidate, a potential first-in-class anti-triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 1 (TREM1) antibody. CEL383 has completed a Phase I clinical study in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

According to a company press release, TREM1 has been identified as a key disease driver gene in IBD. TREM1 is expressed on inflammatory monocytes and neutrophils, and—in these cell types as well as others—the gene is upstream of multiple known inflammatory pathways. It is known to act as an amplifier of inflammation (1).

"Given the potential relevance of TREM1 as a key driver of inflammation and pathology in IBD and other conditions, we are eager to advance the development of CEL383 with a goal of helping more patients with IBD achieve remission," said Kori Wallace, MD, PhD, vice-president, global head of immunology clinical development, AbbVie, in the press release.

CEL383 has demonstrated in preclinical assays that it inhibits TREM1 signaling and therefore reduces the levels of multiple inflammatory mediators that are of important clinical relevance in inflammatory conditions. The candidate has concluded a Phase I first-in-human, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, single ascending dose study in which its safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics in healthy volunteers were evaluated.


"AbbVie shares our excitement about the potential of TREM1 inhibition for patients with inflammatory disease," said Tariq Kassum, MD, chief executive officer, Celsius. "I'd like to thank the Celsius team for their relentless efforts in the discovery of CEL383. We look forward to the further development of this promising program, which we hope will offer a new approach to the treatment of IBD."

This acquisition follows moves that AbbVie made earlier this year to strengthen its inflammatory and autoimmune disease therapeutics portfolio. In February 2024, the company entered into a strategic partnership with clinical-stage immunotherapy company OSE Immunotherapeutics. Under this partnership, AbbVie and OSE Immunotherapeutics will develop OSE-230, a preclinical-stage monoclonal antibody (mAb), to treat chronic and severe inflammation (2).

In March 2024, AbbVie announced it was acquiring Landos Biopharma, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focusing on autoimmune diseases. With this acquisition, AbbVie gains a lead asset, NX-13, an oral nucleotide oligomerization domain-like receptor family member X1 (NLRX1) agonist with a bimodal mechanism of action. NLRX1 is known to regulate immunometabolism and inflammation; its activation impacts multiple mechanisms of IBD pathogenesis, according to AbbVie in a press release (3). Landos’ NX-13, which is in Phase II clinical development, is an anti-inflammatory agent that facilitates epithelial repair.


1. Zhang, C.; Kan, X.; Zhang, B.; Ni, H.; Shao J. The Role of Triggering Receptor Expressed on Myeloid Cells-1 (TREM-1) in Central Nervous System Diseases. Mol. Brain 2022, 15, 84. DOI: 10.1186/s13041-022-00969-w
2. AbbVie. AbbVie and OSE Immunotherapeutics Announce Partnership to Develop a Novel Monoclonal Antibody for the Treatment of Chronic Inflammation. Press Release, Feb. 28, 2024.
3. AbbVie. AbbVie to Acquire Landos Biopharma, Further Strengthening its Portfolio in Inflammatory and Autoimmune Diseases. Press Release, March 25, 2024.

Source: AbbVie