Allozyne, Inc. Sold For Scrap As MedImmune Snaps Up Rights
September 19, 2014
By Riley McDermid, BioSpace.com Breaking News Sr. Editor
Seattle-based biotech Allozyne has been quietly broken up and sold, with most of its patents and technologies sold to AstraZeneca (AZN) unit MedImmune, the company announced Friday.
Allozyne said most of its assets were sold off earlier this summer to a previous licensing partner, reported tech website Xconomy. MedImmune said the sale was not an outright acquisition and neither company has disclosed sales amounts. There has been no information on how many jobs will be lost as a result.
“MedImmune did not acquire Allozyne; however, we did purchase rights to selected patents and technology that the company had either developed or licensed in,” said MedImmune spokeswoman Tracy Rossin in a statement. The news put an end to Allozyne, once a darling in the venture capital community, that had injected more than $50 million in funding from Amgen Ventures,MPM Capital,OVP Venture Partners and MPM Capital.
The company was also a well thought of graduate of Seattle’s Accelerator incubator, but had struggled in recent years after a failed merger in 2011 and planned Phase III trials for its multiple sclerosis treatment beta interferon faltered. The company did not attempt a run at an initial public offering after 2011.
Its most significant asset is is its lead compound, AZ01, but it was not clear Friday which company had acquired those rights. But the new breakup may put the Phase III trials back on track, Steve Gillis, a managing director in the Seattle office of ARCH Venture Partners, told Xconomy.
“Phase 3 ready” and “in the process of being partnered,” he said, while “the MedImmune transaction provided up front funds and future payouts.”
Allozyne’s AZ01, attaches a polyethylene glycol chain to the multiple sclerosis drug beta interferon in a process called pegylation. The drug stays in a patient’s system longer and needs fewer doses, a boon to MS patients who have often have day-long infusion treatments. But Allozyne was competing in a field crowded with big-name players like Biogen Inc (BIIB), which has already won U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for their own beta interferon therapy, Plegridy.