UK-based AstraZeneca has agreed to acquire Amolyt Pharma, a France-based clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing novel treatments for rare endocrine diseases.

Under the terms of the agreement, AstraZeneca will acquire all the outstanding shares of Amolyt Pharma for a total of up to $1.05bn, on a cash and debt-free basis.

The total consideration includes an $800m upfront payment and an additional contingent payment of $250m, payable upon achievement of a specified regulatory milestone.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of 2024, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including regulatory clearances.

It involves the transfer of employees from Amolyt Pharma to Alexion, AstraZeneca’s business focused on treatments for rare diseases.

Alexion, AstraZeneca Rare Disease, CEO Marc Dunoyer said: “Chronic hypoparathyroid patients face a significant need for an alternative to current supportive therapies, which do not address the underlying hormone deficiency.

“As leaders in rare disease, Alexion is uniquely positioned to drive the late-stage development and global commercialisation of eneboparatide, which has the potential to lessen the often-debilitating impact of low parathyroid hormone and avoid the risks of high-dose calcium supplementation.

“We believe this programme, together with Amolyt’s talented team, expertise and earlier pipeline, will enable our expansion into rare endocrinology.”

AstraZeneca said that the proposed acquisition will strengthen Alexion’s late-stage pipeline and expand on its bone metabolism franchise with Amolyt’s Eneboparatide (AZP-3601).

Eneboparatide is an investigational therapeutic peptide designed to bind to a specific conformation of the parathyroid hormone (PTH) receptor 1 with high affinity.

The drug, with a novel mechanism of action to meet the therapeutic goals of hypoparathyroidism, is currently in Phase 3 development.

In the Phase 2 studies, eneboparatide achieved normalisation of serum calcium levels, along with the potential to eliminate dependence on daily calcium and vitamin D supplementation.

Also, drug the preserved bone mineral density, an important potential benefit in patients with an increased risk of osteopenia or osteoporosis in patients with hypoparathyroidism.

Amolyt Pharma CEO Thierry Abribat said: “We enthusiastically welcome the proposed acquisition of Amolyt by AstraZeneca, an organisation that shares our dedication to delivering life-changing treatments to people living with rare diseases.

“Strong Phase 2 data suggest eneboparatide has the potential to improve outcomes for patients and to shift the treatment paradigm for hypoparathyroidism, and we look forward to seeing the continued advancement of the Phase III trial.”