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Report: Apellis may be drawing interest from larger drugmakers

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The company could also consider partnerships or licensing agreements for some drugs of its ophthalmology pipeline, including pegcetacoplan.

A group of business people are meeting to analyze data for marketing plan. (Image Credit: AdobeStock/boonchok)

(Image Credit: AdobeStock/boonchok)

Apellis Pharmaceuticals Inc. may soon have a full dance card, as the company is apparently drawing takeover interest from larger drugmakers, according to a Bloomberg report.

Citing people with knowledge of the issue, Bloomberg reported Apellis is in discussions with its advisers to weigh its options amid growing interest.

Moreover, Bloomberg also reported the company could also consider partnerships or licensing agreements for some of its ophthalmology pipeline. The sources cited discussed the matter under the condition they not be identified.

Shares of Apellis have risen about 28% in New York this year, giving it a market value of $7.6 billion. The stock rose as much as 12% in premarket trading on Monday, April 3.

The sources told Bloomberg while talks are ongoing, there is no way to know whether they will result in a deal, with at least 2 individuals telling the news outlet Apellis would like to remain independent.

Apellis did not respond to requests from Bloomberg for comment.

In February, the FDA approved intravitreal pegcetacoplan (Syfovre) to treat geographic atrophy (GA) secondary to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). According to Bloomberg, analyst estimates forecast it to generate peak revenue of more than $1 billion.

Pegcetacoplan is an investigational, targeted C3 therapy designed to regulate excessive activation of the complement cascade, part of the body’s immune system, which can lead to the onset and progression of many serious diseases. Pegcetacoplan was granted Fast Track designation by the FDA for the treatment of GA.

According to Bloomberg, partnering with another pharmaceutical company would give Apellis access to more resources and infrastructure to market and distribute Syfovre to US patients.

The report also noted the company also has some competition in smaller rival Iveric Bio Inc., which is currently seeking approval for another GA drug the FDA will rule on by August.

In February, Iveric Bio announced the FDA has completed its filing review and accepted the company’s New Drug Application (NDA) for avacincaptad pegol (ACP), a novel investigational complement C5 inhibitor for the treatment of GA secondary to AMD.

According to a news release from the company, the NDA has been granted Priority Review with a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) goal date of August 19, 2023. The company also announced the FDA has not identified any potential review issues and is not currently planning to hold an Advisory Committee meeting for ACP.

“The FDA’s acceptance of our NDA and Priority Review for avacincaptad pegol brings us another significant step closer to delivering a much-needed treatment to AMD patients living with GA,” Glenn P. Sblendorio, CEO of Iveric Bio, said in the news release. “We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the FDA throughout the review process.”

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