Baxter International has acquired AesRx, LLC, a private U.S. biopharma company focused on orphan drug targets. With the acquisition Baxter gains Aes-103, an investigational prophylactic treatment in Phase II development for sickle cell disease (SCD). Baxter made an initial payment and may make additional future payments based on development, regulatory and commercial milestones. Financial details were not disclosed.
Early studies indicate the compound may reduce the sickling of red blood cells, which in turn, may reduce sickling-related outcomes such as vaso-occlusive crisis, pain, severe anemia, and fatigue. Aes-103 has received Orphan designation from the FDA and is eligible for the same status in Europe.
''With this acquisition, we gain a compound that has the potential to address an extremely high unmet clinical need in a community with inadequate treatment options and no recent major clinical developments,'' said Ludwig Hantson, Ph.D., president of Baxter BioScience. ''This program is complementary to our established experience in hemophilia and supports our goals to raise the bar for care of patients with a range of blood-related disorders.''
''By becoming a part of Baxter’s organization, we believe this will provide Aes-103 the needed resources and expertise to complete a robust development and commercialization program,'' said Stephen Seiler, AesRx’s founder and former chief executive officer. ''Baxter has a demonstrated track record in the treatment of hematological orphan diseases and is an ideal company to take this important program forward.''