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Allergan to buy Vitae Pharmaceuticals for $639m

Allergan has agreed to acquire US-based clinical-stage biotechnology firm Vitae Pharmaceuticals for about $639m.

Vitae discovers and develops small molecule drugs for diseases with significant unmet medical needs.

The company uses its structure-based drug design platform, Contour, for discovering a portfolio of product candidates.

Under the transaction, which is expected to close by the end of this year, Allergan would pay $21 per share in cash Vitae.

The deal adds Vitae’s two clinical candidates, VTP-43742 and VTP-38543, to Allergan’s dermatology product pipeline.

VTP-43742 is a phase II orally active retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor gamma t (RORγt) inhibitor indicated for psoriasis and other autoimmune disorders.

VTP-38543 is a phase IIa topical  liver X receptor beta selective agonist for atopic dermatitis.

Allergan chief research and development officer David Nicholson said: “Both the VTP-43742 and VTP-38543 programs offer the potential for highly differentiated mechanisms of action for the treatment of dermatologic conditions where patients are underserved by currently approved treatments.

“In addition, Vitae’s novel Contour drug discovery platform and its team, which have been instrumental in the discovery of novel ‘difficult to drug’ compounds, will be highly complementary to Allergan’s existing R&D discovery efforts in key therapeutic areas.”

Vitae’s pipeline also includes two preclinical candidates: VTP-45489, a RORγt inhibitor for autoimmune diseases, and an unnamed new target with a novel mechanism of action for an undisclosed indication.

Allergan CEO and president Brent Saunders said: “The acquisition of Vitae is a strategic investment for Allergan that adds strength and depth to our innovative medical dermatology franchise.”

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