Medicxi has announced its portfolio company, Versanis Bio, a private clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Eli Lilly.
Under the terms of the agreement, which is subject to customary conditions, Versanis shareholders would receive up to $1.925 billion USD in cash, inclusive of an upfront payment and subsequent payments upon achievement of certain development and sales milestones.
Versanis was founded in 2021 by biotech investment firm Aditum Bio to develop bimagrumab for the treatment of metabolic diseases and obesity following its in-licensing from Novartis. Medicxi invested in the company in August 2021 when it co-led a $70 million Series A financing with Atlas Venture. Nick Williams, Partner at Medicxi, led the investment and is a member of the Versanis Board of Directors.
The acquisition of Versanis reinforces our belief in the importance of body composition when considering the therapeutic management of obesity
- Nick Williams, Partner at Medicxi
Versanis’ lead asset is bimagrumab, a first-in-class, fully human monoclonal antibody to activin type II receptors that blocks binding of ligands including myostatin, activins, and GDF11. Bimagrumab is currently being assessed in the BELIEVE Phase 2b study alone or in combination with semaglutide in adults living with overweight or obesity. Combining incretins with bimagrumab has the potential to improve the quality and durability of weight loss, with the goal of achieving better outcomes for people living with obesity and obesity-related complications.
Nick Williams, Partner at Medicxi, said: “The acquisition of Versanis reinforces our belief in the importance of body composition when considering the therapeutic management of obesity. Bimagrumab exhibits a differentiated clinical profile, with the potential to achieve meaningful body fat loss whilst at the same time increasing muscle mass."
Williams continued: "This single-asset exit further strengthens our belief in delivering value via investing in focused, asset-driven companies. We are extremely excited to be partnering with an experienced organisation like Lilly that will continue to develop bimagrumab in combination with its portfolio of incretins to improve patient outcomes in cardiometabolic diseases.”