Astellas forks out $5.9bn to buy Iveric Bio

Astellas Pharma will add various ophthalmology treatments through the acquisition of US firm Iveric Bio for $5.9 billion.

Millie Nelson, Editor

May 3, 2023

2 Min Read
Astellas forks out $5.9bn to buy Iveric Bio

Astellas Pharma will add various ophthalmology treatments through the acquisition of US firm Iveric Bio for $5.9 billion.

Iveric (formally known as Ophthotech) focuses on developing solutions for retina diseases and its key asset is avacincaptad pegol (ACP), which is in trials for the treatment of geographic atrophy (GA), a condition that can lead to vision loss.Once the deal closes, New Jersey-based Iveric Bio will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan’s Astellas.

“Iveric Bio has promising programs including ACP, an important program for GA secondary to Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), and capabilities across the entire value chain in the ophthalmology field. We believe that this acquisition will enable us to deliver greater VALUE to patients with ocular diseases at high risk of blindness,” said Naoki Okamura, CEO of Astellas.



ACP is an investigational complement C5 protein inhibitor and in February the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized Iveric’s New Drug Application (NDA) for the treatment. The NDA has been given priority review with a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) goal date of August 19, 2023.

Thus, if approved, the treatment could be commercialized by the end of this year.

Primary focuses

According to Astellas, one of its five identified primary focuses is “blindness & regeneration.” The firm said it is prioritizing investment resources in these areas and the acquisition of Iveric will drive its ophthalmology capabilities and advance preclinical, clinical development and commercialization activities in the space.

“Of course, we have to work hard internally. But depending on the situations, we would like to introduce something outside of the Company,” an unidentified company representative for Astellas said during its Q4 2022 earnings call.

“So, we have such a variety of things on our list so that we face the timing where we have to get something from outside, we have the preparation done, ongoing here. It’s not something that a certain point of time, we are going to do M&A. But if something come up, then in that case, we will let you know.

Now something has come up, the acquisition will add a commercial team and an expansive network of three experts in the ophthalmology space, as well as relationships with various medical institutions.

The acquisition is subject to closing conditions. However, Astellas does not expect to making any changes in its dividend policy following the deal.

About the Author(s)

Millie Nelson

Editor, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering global biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing news and host of the Voices of Biotech podcast.

I am currently living and working in London but I grew up in Lincolnshire (UK) and studied in Newcastle (UK).

Got a story? Feel free to email me at [email protected]

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