Amgen Acquires ChemoCentryx, AAV Therapy Tavneos

The ANCA-associated vasculitis approved therapy was acquired for $3.7B

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by Steve Bryson, PhD |

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Amgen is the new owner of Tavneos (avacopan), an approved ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV) therapy, following its successful $3.7 billion cash acquisition of ChemoCentryx.

“ChemoCentryx enhances Amgen’s leading inflammation and nephrology portfolio and includes Tavneos (avacopan), a first-in-class treatment for severe active anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody-associated vasculitis (ANCA-associated vasculitis), an autoimmune disease for which there remains significant unmet medical need,” Robert Bradway, chairman and CEO at Amgen, said in a press release.

AAV is an autoimmune disease marked by inflammation and damage to small blood vessels caused by overactive immune cells called neutrophils. This triggers the release of C5a, an inflammatory protein that drives the autoimmune attacks in the disease.

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Initially developed by ChemoCentryx, Tavneos contains a molecule that targets C5a, preventing it from binding to its receptor and dampening inflammatory responses. This way, the therapy is expected to alleviate inflammation and damage to small blood vessels.

Tavneos was approved in the U.S. last year as an add-on treatment for people with severe and active granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) and microscopic polyangiitis (MPA), the two main types of AAV.

Its approval was supported by data from the worldwide Phase 3 ADVOCATE trial (NCT02994927). One year of twice-daily oral Tavneos outperformed standard steroid therapy in promoting long-term remission, improving kidney function and enhancing the quality of life of trial participants.

Tavneos is being investigated in other inflammatory diseases, including hidradenitis suppurativa, a deforming chronic disorder that affects the skin, and complement 3 glomerulopathy, a rare genetic kidney condition.

It’s also been approved for GPA and MPA in Canada, European Union, and Japan.

Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma owns the rights to market the therapy outside the U.S., except in Canada and Japan. Otsuka Canada Pharmaceutical holds the rights in Canada while Kissei Pharmaceutical owns them in Japan. Tavneos is being distributed in the U.S. by the rare disease pharmacy PANTHERx.

The acquisition also adds three early stage therapeutic candidates that target chemoattractant receptors that recruit immune cells to inflammation sites, as well as an oral checkpoint immunotherapy for cancer.

“We look forward to welcoming the dedicated professionals from ChemoCentryx who share our passion for advancing innovation that makes a difference for patients,” Bradway said. “Together, we aim to serve more patients affected by serious diseases.”