May 22 Quick Takes: Ironwood building GI franchise via $1B VectivBio acquisition

Plus: Krystal raises $160M PIPE and updates from Avrobio-Novartis, Avidity, BMS, Hepion, Rain, Blueprint 

May 22, 2023 10:44 PM UTC

Ironwood Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:IRWD) is adding GLP2 analog apraglutide to its gastrointestinal portfolio with the $1 billion purchase of VectivBio Holding AG (NASDAQ:VECT). Formed in 2019 as a spinout from Therachon Holding AG upon that company's acquisition by Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), VectivBio advanced apraglutide into Phase III testing to treat short bowel syndrome; data from the STARS study are due around year-end. Ironwood is paying $17 per share, a 45% premium over VectivBio's closing price on Friday; VectivBio went public in 2021 at an IPO price of $17.

With FDA approval of Vyjuvek beremagene geperpavec gained late last week to treat dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, Krystal Biotech Inc. (NASDAQ:KRYS) has raised $160 million through the sale of 1.7 million shares at $92.50 in a PIPE transaction. Leaders Avoro Capital Advisors and Redmile Group participated alongside Braidwell and Frazier Life Sciences. Krystal anticipates a 3Q23 launch for the redosable, replication-defective, non-integrating HSV-1 viral vector that delivers functional COL7A1 genes directly to skin cells...