September 7, 2020

Grifols to acquire Alkahest to enhance discovery research and development to identify innovative therapies for age-related diseases based upon an understanding of the human plasma proteome

  • Grifols to acquire remaining stock of Alkahest, Inc. in exchange for a total price of $146 million, on a debt-free basis, bringing its ownership of Alkahest to 100%; the transaction is expected to close in early 2021
  • Alkahest currently has four candidates in six phase-2 clinical trials covering therapeutic products for neurodegenerative, cognitive decline, neuromuscular and ophthalmic indications
  • Alkahest has developed a map of the human plasma proteome facilitating the identification of plasma proteins and their recombinant analogues as potential therapeutic medicines

Barcelona, Spain, and San Carlos, Calif., September 7, 2020 - Grifols (MCE: GRF, MCE: GRF.P, NASDAQ: GRFS), a leading global producer of plasma-derived medicines and a leader in the development of innovative diagnostic solutions, today announced it has entered into a transaction to acquire the remaining equity of Alkahest, Inc. in exchange for a total price of $146 million, on a debt-free basis. No additional financing will be required.

The closing of the transaction is subject to the approval by the relevant antitrust authorities, and is expected to close in early 2021.

The Silicon Valley-based biotechnology company was founded upon research into the therapeutic use of plasma proteins in combating diseases associated with aging as identified in the Stanford University laboratory of Tony Wyss-Coray, professor of Neurology at Stanford and co-founder and board member of Alkahest.

In addition to the clinical development of specific plasma fractions and protein inhibitors, Alkahest is focused on developing a complete understanding of the human plasma proteome. This unique proteomic platform of targets will help Grifols and Alkahest to unlock new therapeutics and diagnostics, develop new plasma proteins, new indications for currently licensed plasma proteins, biomarkers for diagnostics, recombinant proteins and antibodies as well as small-molecule drugs.

Understanding the plasma proteome is the key to Alkahest’s comprehensive discovery and development platform delivering transformational therapeutics. Alkahest, as a wholly owned subsidiary within the Grifols innovation office (GIANT), will focus on proteins with biological impact that change with age. Thus far, more than 8,000 separate proteins have been identified by Alkahest and using advanced techniques of molecular analysis at the cellular level, an array of new products are expected to enter Grifols’ discovery and development pipeline and bring new therapeutic medicines to market.

“We saw the promise of Alkahest’s understanding of aging when we made our first investment and entered into a collaboration agreement with them five years ago,” said Víctor Grífols, co-CEO of Grifols. “Now we see a wealth of plasma-derived and non-plasma therapeutic candidates identified by Alkahest that can significantly support the unmet needs of many diseases associated with aging.”

Karoly Nikolich, CEO of Alkahest, said, “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.”

Dr. Wyss-Coray added: “It is most gratifying to see some of our initial academic discoveries on the therapeutic power of plasma proteins being translated into new treatments for human diseases through the synergies between Grifols and Alkahest. I am thrilled to continue and expand our productive partnership and am optimistic for continued clinical success.”

Grifols was supported in this transaction by its advisors, Osborne Clarke and Proskauer. Alkahest was supported in this transaction by its advisor, Cooley.