Rumor Alert: Allergan in Talks to Buy Out KaNDy Therapeutics in $400M Deal


There is speculation that Dublin, Ireland-based Allergan is in talks to acquire UK-based KaNDy Therapeutics.

KaNDy Therapeutics is a clinical-stage company that is focused on female sex-hormone related conditions, such as post-menopausal vasomotor symptoms. Its lead product is NT-814, which it took with it when it was spun out of NeRRe Therapeutics in 2017. NeRRe spun out of GlaxoSmithKline in 2012. It has successfully wrapped a Phase IIa proof of concept trial showing its potential to cut both the frequency and severity of hot flashes, and is soon entering an international Phase IIb trial.

If the deal goes through, which is rumored to be in “late-stage talks,” it could run around $400 million.

John Carroll, with Endpoints News, writes, “KaNDy took a neurokinin-1,3 receptor antagonist—with potential as a hormone replacement therapy—with plans to take it into a Phase IIb study for postmenopausal vasomotor symptoms. That would give Allergan some human data to look at as it beefs up that section of the pipeline, if a deal is completed.”

KaNDy’s chairman is Iain Dukes, a Venture Partner with OrbiMedMary Kerr is the managing director. She was previously senior vice president and Global Franchise Leader at GlaxoSmithKline, overseeing its immuno-inflammation and infectious diseases franchise. She is also a non-executive independent director at Galapagos NV. The co-founder, chief scientific officer and chief operating officer is Mike Trower. Prior to joining KaNDy and NeRRe, he was vice president and Head of the External Drug Discovery Group in the Neurosciences Centre for Excellence for Drug Discovery (CEDD) for GSK. Steve Pawsey is KaNDy’s chief medical officer. He has held senior positions at Circassia, Vernalis, and Pharmagene.

Most recently, Allergan acquired Repros Therapeutics. Allergan also acquired Endoart and Zeltiq last year.

NT-814 has the potential of cornering an underserved and unmet medical need as a once-daily, nonhormonal therapy for postmenopausal symptoms are expected in the next 12 to 18 months. KaNDy is also expected to begin studies of the drug for other indications, including endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome.

The company is based at the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst in the UK.

When KaNDy spun out of NeRRe in September 2017, its investors included Advent Life Sciences, Fountain Healthcare Partners, Forbion Capital Partners and OrbiMed Advisors.

Dukes stated at the launch, “The formation of KaNDy Therapeutics enables us to maximize the potential of NT-814 in a range of debilitating Women’s Health conditions. We believe NT-814 is one of the few true innovations in Women’s Health in more than two decades and potentially represents a major breakthrough in areas of significant unmet medical need such as PNMVMS. Mary has built up an excellent team who have made substantial progress with NT-814 and we’re looking forward to advancing this exciting new product into a Phase IIb program.”

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