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Novartis - Calypso

Calypso enters into agreement to be acquired by Novartis

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Calypso’s shareholders will receive an upfront payment of $250 Million upon closing and are eligible to receive up to $175 Million based on the achievement of certain predetermined milestones. Calypso is a leader in the development of Interleukin15 (IL-15) targeted therapies.



Calypso, a spin-out from Merck based in Plan-Les-Ouates (Geneva), is focused on the research and development of monoclonal antibodies for an array of autoimmune indications, with an expertise in IL-15 biology. IL-15 is a broad, untapped immune axis that controls barrier function and downstream immune cascades in many chronic autoimmune diseases. Calypso’s lead product candidate, CALY-002, is a potential best-in-class therapeutic antibody that binds to and neutralizes Interleukin-15.

The acquisition gives Novartis full rights to CALY-002. Novartis intends to further explore CALY-002 across a wide variety of autoimmune indications with high unmet medical need. CALY-002 is currently evaluated in a Phase 1b trial in patients with Celiac Disease and Eosinophilic Esophagitis.


Alain Vicari, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, Calypso, commented: “We are excited for this transaction with Novartis, a company with relentless commitment to the development of innovative therapies for autoimmune conditions. As part of the Novartis portfolio, CALY-002 is in the best position to be developed effectively, so that it can promptly address unmet medical needs in multiple indications.”

Bernard Coulie, Chairman, Calypso, commented: “The transaction with Novartis constitutes the high point in the development path of CALY-002 for the Calypso team. Calypso has established a significantly de-risked profile for CALY-002 as a potential best-in-class therapeutic anti-IL-15 antibody.”

Richard Siegel, Head of Immunology Research at Novartis, commented: “Novartis is committed to bringing innovative treatment options forward for patients living with immunological diseases. We’re thrilled to add Calypso’s potential best-in-class antibody to our Immunology pipeline and explore it in a spectrum of autoimmune indications.”


About Calypso Biotech

Calypso is a private biotechnology company focused on the research and development of novel 2 biologics to address unmet medical need in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Calypso is developing a novel anti-IL-15 monoclonal antibody to treat a broad range of chronic autoimmune diseases by blocking Interleukin-15 (IL-15) and its wide-ranging functions at many levels of the immune response cascade. Calypso was founded by M Ventures, the corporate strategic venture arm of Merck, and is headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, with offices and laboratories in Geneva, Switzerland. Investors include M Ventures, Inkef Capital, Gilde Healthcare, Fountain Healthcare Partners and Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc.


Source: Press Release