Bayer is acquiring Kandy Therapeutics for $425m

11 Aug 2020

Dr Mary Kerr, co-founder and CEO of Kandy Therapeutics. Image: Kandy

Irish life sciences venture capital fund Fountain Healthcare Partners is set to benefit from Bayer’s $425m acquisition of Kandy Therapeutics.

On Tuesday (11 August), Bayer announced plans to acquire UK-based clinical-stage biotech company, Kandy Therapeutics. The acquisition will expands Bayer’s drug development pipeline in women’s healthcare.

Through the acquisition deal, Bayer will pay an upfront consideration of $425m for Kandy and potential milestone payments of up to $450m until launch, followed by potential additional milestone payments. The deal is expected to close by September 2020.

Kandy’s solution, currently entitled NT-814, is a non-hormonal oral compound that aims to alleviate menopausal symptoms. Once approved, the compound could generate peak sales potential of more than €1bn globally, according to Bayer.

Kandy’s biotech business

Kandy was founded in 2017 as a spin-out of Nerre Therapeutics and has been backed by life sciences investors such as Advent Life Sciences, Fountain Healthcare Partners, Forbion Capital Partners, OrbiMed and Longitude Capital.

Irish venture capital fund Fountain Healthcare Partners’ Ena Prosser said: “As early stage investors in Kandy Therapeutics, we have been delighted to support Dr Mary Kerr and her team in the development of NT-814 as a potential novel medicine to improve menopausal symptoms.

“As a global leader in women’s healthcare, Bayer is an ideal partner for Kandy Therapeutics to continue to the progress and optimise NT-814 as a potential treatment option.”

Kerr, co-founder and CEO of Kandy said: “Bayer has been our preferred partner due to its leading position in the area of women’s healthcare. We believe that under the ownership of Bayer, this potential novel medicine can be optimally developed to become an important non-hormonal treatment option for women suffering debilitating symptoms of the menopause.”

In addition to Bayer’s latest deal in the women’s healthcare space, the pharmaceutical business announced an expanded partnership with Evotec earlier this year. The five-year, multi-target collaboration focuses on the development of multiple candidates to treat polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

The pharma company also reached an exclusive license agreement with Daré Bioscience for the US market in January 2020, focusing on its investigational, hormone-free, monthly vaginal contraceptive currently in clinical development for the prevention of pregnancy.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic