Incyte Acquires Escient Pharma’s Oral MRGPR Antagonists Pipeline

Incyte (Nasdaq:INCY) has entered a definitive agreement to acquire Escient Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage company focused on developing novel small molecule therapeutics for systemic immune and neuro-immune disorders. This acquisition includes EP262, a first-in-class, potent, highly selective, once-daily small molecule antagonist of Mas-related G protein-coupled receptor X2 (MRGPRX2), and EP547, a first-in-class oral MRGPRX4 antagonist.

“Incyte to Acquire Escient Pharmaceuticals and Innovative Drug Portfolio”

Hervé Hoppenot, CEO of Incyte, expressed enthusiasm for the addition of EP262 and EP547 to their portfolio, highlighting their potential to address unmet needs in inflammatory diseases. EP262, by blocking MRGPRX2 and mast cell degranulation, shows promise in treating conditions like atopic dermatitis (AD) and chronic urticaria. Preclinical studies and Phase 1 trials have demonstrated its safety and efficacy.

Joshua A. Grass, President and CEO of Escient, praised the innovative research behind these drug candidates and expressed confidence in Incyte’s ability to translate this science into valuable medicines for patients.

The acquisition, valued at $750 million plus Escient’s net cash, is subject to regulatory clearance and customary conditions, expected to be finalized by the third quarter of 2024.

Centerview Partners LLC and Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC advised Escient, while Fenwick & West LLP and Covington & Burling LLP acted as legal counsel for Escient and Incyte, respectively.

Incyte will host a conference call and webcast at 8:00 a.m. ET for further discussion on the acquisition.

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