Japanese pharmaceutical company Kyowa Kirin has completed the acquisition of Orchard Therapeutics, a rare disease-focused gene therapy firm, for $477.6m.

Kyowa Kirin completed the purchase of Orchard’s entire outstanding share count through a Scheme of Arrangement method.

With the acquisition, announced in October last year, Orchard is now a fully owned subsidiary of the Japan-based speciality pharmaceutical company.

The integrated business will now serve those with severe diseases, including those caused by genetics, where there is a burden with little or no treatment available.

According to the terms of the agreement, Kyowa Kirin completed the scheme of arrangement to purchase Orchard Therapeutics’ entire outstanding share base for $16 per American Depositary Share (ADS) in cash.

This amount represents a 144% premium over Orchard’s volume-weighted average price per ADS for the 30 days ending on 4 October 2023, the day before the transaction’s announcement.

Kyowa Kirin president and CEO Masashi Miyamoto said: “This platform offers significant potential to deliver more innovative treatments and breakthrough therapies and aligns with our purpose to deliver life-changing value for people living with rare and complex diseases.

“Going forward, our companies will build on the extensive experience of Orchard’s gene therapy platform and apply it to under-served indications and diseases where we believe it to be scientifically and clinically differentiated.”

One product in Orchard Therapeutics’ portfolio is Libmeldy (atidarsagene autotemcel), which is prescribed to qualified patients for the management of early-onset metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD).

It is already being authorised by the European Commission (EC) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Orchard Therapeutics co-founder and CEO Bobby Gaspar said: “The next 12 months have the potential to provide several breakout opportunities that we believe would cement our leadership position in the field, including the potential approval and launch of OTL-200 in the US, the acceleration of Libmeldy growth in Europe, the progression of our global registrational trial for OTL-203 in MPS-IH, as well as the advancement of our next-in-line neurometabolic program in MPS-IIIA and earlier-stage research programmes.”