Ipsen to Bolster Liver Disease Portfolio with Albireo Acquisition

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Ipsen’s $952 million acquisition of Albireo is designed to bolster the company's rare disease portfolio.

Ipsen, a global biopharmaceutical company, and Albireo, a rare disease company focused on the development of novel bile acid modulators, announced a definitive merger agreement on Jan. 9, 2023. The deal, expected to close by the end of Q1 2023, will see Ipsen acquire Albireo for approximately $952 million.

According to a company press release, Albireo’s lead medicine is Bylvay (odevixibat), a once-daily, oral, non-systemic ileal bile acid transport inhibitor. FDA has approvedodevixibat as a treatment of pruritus in patients ages three months and older with progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis (PFIC), while E.U. has approved it for treatment of PFIC in patients ages six months and older. Odevixibat is being considered for other rare diseases; it was the subject of supplementary regulatory filings for Alagille syndrome in December 2022 and is also in late-stage development as a treatment for biliary atresia.

As part of the transaction, Ipsen will also acquire Albireo’s clinical stage asset A3907, a novel oral systemic apical sodium-dependent bile acid transporter inhibitor currently in development for adult cholestatic liver disease. Albireo’s pipeline also includes A2342, an oral systemic sodium-taurocholate co-transporting peptide inhibitor currently being evaluated for viral and cholestatic diseases.

“We are excited about the potential of Albireo’s assets and scientific expertise, which we gain through this acquisition, and we believe this is a compelling growth opportunity for Ipsen,” said David Loew, CEO, Ipsen, in the press release. “Our rare disease franchise is strengthened with [odevixibat], which, in addition to being the first-approved treatment in PFIC, has two further indications being investigated in rare liver conditions that are underserved. Additionally, [odevixibat] and the clinical and preclinical novel bile acid transport inhibitors in Albireo’s portfolio complement our own pipeline in liver disease.”


“Unwavering dedication to patients and commitment to science have always been the north star for Albireo. This focus has driven us to develop and gain approval for [odevixibat] as the first drug treatment for PFIC,” said Ron Cooper, president and CEO, Albireo, in the press release. “Our talented team at Albireo have advanced the first Phase III studies in three different pediatric liver diseases while discovering two promising new clinical stage bile acid modulators. We believe that Ipsen is well positioned to apply its global R&D and commercial capabilities to make these medicines available to more cholestatic liver disease patients and accelerate the mission of providing hope for families. ”

Source: Ipsen