Novartis Acquires Calypso Biotech for up to $425 Million

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The acquisition will give Novartis full rights to CALY-002, Calypso’s lead product candidate.

On Jan. 8, 2024, Calypso Biotech, a European immunotherapy biotech company focused on the research and development of novel biologics, announced it had agreed to be acquired by Novartis. Calypso’s shareholders are set to receive an upfront payment of $250 million and are eligible to receive development milestones of up to $175 million, based on reaching certain milestones.

Calypso, a spin-out from Merck, is engaged in the research and development of monoclonal antibodies for a range of autoimmune indications, with a specialization in IL-15 biology. IL-15, according to Calypso, is a broad, untapped immune axis that controls barrier function and downstream immune cascades in many chronic autoimmune diseases. Calypso’s lead product candidate. CALY-002 is a potential best-in-class therapeutics antibody that binds to and neutralizes Interleukin-15.

This acquisition will give Novartis full rights to CALY-002, which it intends to explore further across a wide range of autoimmune indications with unmet medical need. CALY-002 is currently in a Phase Ib trial in patients with celiac disease and eosinophilic esophagitis.

“We are excited for this transaction with Novartis, a company with relentless commitment to the development of innovative therapies for autoimmune conditions. As part of the Novartis portfolio, CALY-002 is in the best position to be developed effectively, so that it can promptly address unmet medical needs in multiple indications,” said Alain Vicari, chief executive officer and co-founder of Calypso.


Bernard Coulie, chairman, Calypso, added, “The transaction with Novartis constitutes the high point in the development path of CALY-002 for the Calypso team. Calypso has established a significantly de-risked profile for CALY-002 as a potential best-in-class therapeutic anti-IL-15 antibody.”

“Novartis is committed to bringing innovative treatment options forward for patients living with immunological diseases,” said Richard Siegel, head of Immunology Research at Novartis in a Calypso press release. “We’re thrilled to add Calypso’s potential best-in-class antibody to our Immunology pipeline and explore it in a spectrum of autoimmune indications.”

Source: Calypso Biotech