As its blockbuster Humira is facing pressure from biosimilars, AbbVie is leaning on dealmaking to expand its portfolio. The Chicago-based pharma announced Monday it is acquiring Landos Biopharma in a deal worth up to $212 million.

The buy lands AbbVie with Landos’ lead asset NX-13, an oral NLRX1 agonist for ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease. Its mechanism of action is anti-inflammatory and facilitates epithelial repair, a natural function compromised in UC and Crohn’s. The Phase II candidate is already enrolling a UC trial in the U.S. and Europe.

AbbVie is dropping $20.42 per share, around $137.5 million in cash for Landos, a significant premium from the biotech’s Friday close price of $7.83. Shareholders will receive up to an additional $75 million total if certain clinical milestones are met. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2024.

AbbVie’s other blockbuster on the market for UC is Rinvoq. The company is seeking approval to add the inflammatory bowel disease condition to Skyrizi’s indication list. Though sales of these two drugs haven’t yet come close to reaching Humira sales, even with last year’s market pressure from biosimilars.

The company’s blockbuster Humira lost exclusivity last year and is facing competition from biosimilars. AbbVie has been making deals and pushing new assets toward the market to try to lessen the steep patent cliff.

In February 2024, AbbVie struck a partnership with OSE Immunotherapeutics for the French biotech’s early-stage monoclonal antibody in chronic and severe inflammation. Paying $48 million upfront, AbbVie is on the line for $665 million in milestone payments. That same month, the pharma company paid $64 million for Tentarix’s Tentacles platform to work on two oncology and immunology programs. Also, two agreements were signed in January 2024 with Umoja for CAR-T therapies. Combined, the deals could yield up to $1.44 billion in payouts to Umoja.

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