Grifols to Acquire Remaining Alkahest Stock for $146 Million
Grifols announced on Monday that it had acquired the remaining stock of Alkahest in exchange for a total of $146 million. The transaction, which is set to conclude in early 2021, will give Grifols access to Alkahest’s four product candidates.
Alkahest focuses its research on the therapeutic use of plasma proteins in combating diseases that develop with age. The company is also dedicated to better understanding the human plasma proteome.
"We are excited to join forces with Grifols, an industry leader in plasma-derived medicines, to realize our shared vision and mission of delivering innovative medicines for age-related diseases on an ambitious scale,” said Karoly Nikolich, CEO of Alkahest.
Grifols has a comprehensive portfolio of products designed to improve safety from donation to transfusion. It remains a recognized leader in transfusion medicine as it focuses on transforming collected plasma into essential medicine.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Grifols has also stepped in with a product of its own. In July, the company announced that it had delivered its first manufactured batches of anti-SARS-CoV-2 hyperimmune globulin for clinical trials. The product targets SARS-CoV-2 by providing passive immunity to infected patients and boosts their immune system, enhancing their ability to fight the disease.
The anti-SARS-CoV-2 hyperimmune globulin comes from the blood plasma of healthy donors who have recovered from COVID-19. It has the potential to be a highly specific, safe treatment that delivers a large concentration of protective antibodies against the disease.
“Grifols is grateful to all the plasma donors who through their generosity are now helping to develop a medicine, a hyperimmune globulin, whose concentrated antibodies will potentially provide others with passive immunity to overcome the disease,” said Victor Grifols Deu, co-CEO of Grifols.
Since April, Grifols has been collecting plasma for the product in more than 245 U.S.-based donation centers from donors who met the highest eligibility criteria. In addition to conducting clinical trials in the U.S., Grifols is working on a European clinical trial involving its hyperimmune globulin.
Grifols first announced that it had begun creating the product back in June, with the support of entities including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health. At the time, it predicted that the first doses would be available in July.
Grifols also revealed that it would move ahead with its clinical trial in Spain to assess the effectiveness of high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin to stabilize or improve the condition of patients with COVID-19. The aim of the trail was to assess the action of neutralizing antibodies, as well as determine the immunomodulatory potential of immunoglobulins as therapy in COVID-19 patients.
Immunoglobulins have been proven as a safe, effective treatment for several neurological diseases, including multifocal motor neuropathy and myasthenia gravis. In addition, they have been essential in the prevention of infections as a result of accidental exposure to agents, such as Hepatitis B.
Grifols is a global leader in the production and sale of immunoglobulins, and remains committed to the existing and future needs of patients who require the plasma protein.
According to the Marketing Research Bureau, the immunoglobulin market is expected to continue to grow annually through 2022. Advancements in immunotherapies are predicted to result in a higher demand for immunoglobulins. In addition, certain therapies, such as CAR-T cells, may create a growing need for these proteins.