Bayer to acquire biotech KaNDy Therapeutics for $425M

Bayer announced on Monday it will acquire KaNDy Therapeutics Inc., a U.K.-based biotechnology company, to expand its drug development pipeline in women’s health care.

Bayer, which has its U.S. headquarters in Pittsburgh, has a major presence in Whippany.

KaNDy recently completed and published a dose range study for its investigational drug, NT-814, for a once-daily pill that showed positive results for the treatment of vasomotor symptoms due to menopause. The start of Phase III will begin in 2021.

Under the deal, Bayer will pay $425 million upfront with potential milestone payments of up to $450 million. The deal is expected to close in September.

“As a leader in women’s health, Bayer is focused on providing new options for women and their health care needs,” Dr. Sebastian Guth, president of pharmaceuticals, Americas region, Bayer, said. “This acquisition is another testament to our commitment to the health of women, which not only broadens our pipeline, but has the potential, if approved, to deliver a new treatment option that could have a meaningful impact on women’s lives.”

Bayer said the acquisition of KaNDy and its investigational compound NT-814 will help augment its own women’s health care portfolio. Earlier this year, Bayer announced the expansion of its partnership with Evotec to develop clinical candidates for the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS. Also in January, Bayer signed an agreement with Dare Bioscience focused on a hormone-free, monthly vaginal contraceptive currently in development.

“Bayer has been our preferred partner due to its leading position in the area of women’s health care,” Dr. Mary Kerr, co-founder and CEO of KaNDy Therapeutics Ltd., said. “We believe that under the ownership of Bayer, this potential first in class medicine can be optimally developed to become an important non-hormonal treatment option for women suffering vasomotor symptoms due to menopause.”

The Pharmaceuticals Business Development & Licensing team of Bayer facilitated the deal.

Morgan Stanley will serve as financial advisor and Linklaters will serve as legal counsel to Bayer. Goldman Sachs International is serving as financial advisor and Goodwin is serving as legal counsel to KaNDy Therapeutics Ltd.