Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis has completed the acquisition of SanReno Therapeutics, a China-based clinical-stage biotech company specialising in kidney diseases.

SanReno was established in late 2021, as a joint venture between the investor consortium and Chinook Therapeutics, which is now a part of Novartis.

The company holds exclusive rights for two late-stage assets targeting Immunoglobulin A Nephropathy (IgAN), atrasentan and zigakibart, in Greater China and Singapore.

Atrasentan is an oral endothelin A receptor antagonist (ERA), currently in Phase 3 development for IgAN and showed clinically meaningful and statistically significant proteinuria reduction.

Zigakibart is a subcutaneously administered monoclonal antibody targeting that secured approval from China’s CDE in October 2023, to initiate a Phase 3 study.

Novartis acquired SanReno from its founding investors, Pivotal bioVenture Partners China, Frazier Life Sciences, Samsara BioCapital, and Versant Ventures.

With the closing of the acquisition, SanReno becomes an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Novartis.

SanReno Therapeutics CEO Haoyu Huang said: “The acquisition of SanReno by Novartis is a testament to the unwavering dedication and relentless innovation of the SanReno team. It validates our commitment to pushing the boundaries in kidney disease therapeutics.

“We are thrilled to join forces with Novartis, a global pharmaceutical leader, in our shared mission to bring forth potentially transformative medicines for patients battling kidney diseases in China and beyond.”

In a separate development, Novartis has received the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for commercial manufacturing of Pluvicto at its new large-scale manufacturing facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, US.

The 70,000ft2 Indianapolis site, the Swiss drugmaker’s second US location, is designed specifically for radioligand therapy (RLT) manufacturing.

Novartis said that the new manufacturing facility represents the next phase of RLT manufacturing growth, with substantial supply increases in future.

Novartis operations president Steffen Lang said: “The intricate process of providing RLTs to patients within hours of production requires precision manufacturing expertise to bring these medicines to individuals who critically need them.

“Adding a second US RLT facility, our largest and most advanced yet, into our manufacturing network underscores our commitment to ensure a consistent and reliable experience for patients and their healthcare teams for years to come.

“We also recently announced plans to build our manufacturing capabilities in Sasayama, Japan and Haiyan, Zhejiang, China, as we continue to look for opportunities to further expand our worldwide reach.”

In addition, Novartis has entered a strategic research collaboration with Isomorphic Labs, a digital biology company, to discover small molecule therapeutics against three targets.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Swiss drugmaker will pay Isomorphic Labs an upfront payment of $37.5m, in addition to funding for select research costs.

Isomorphic Labs is also eligible to receive up to $1.2bn in performance-based milestone payments, along with subsequent tiered royalties on net sales.

Isomorphic Labs CEO and founder Demis Hassabis said: “Isomorphic Labs and Novartis hold a shared purpose to reimagine medicine to improve and extend people’s lives.

“We are delighted to embark upon this integrated way of working, bringing Isomorphic’s state-of-the-art AI and technology platform, including the next-generation AlphaFold model, and access to massive computing power to Novartis, an established leader in the creation of innovative medicines.”