AbbVie has agreed to acquire Landos Biopharma, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, engaged in developing oral therapies for autoimmune diseases, in a deal worth up to $212.5m.

Through the deal, the American pharma major gains access to NX-13, Landos Biopharma’s flagship asset, which is being developed for the treatment of ulcerative colitis (UC).

AbbVie, which recently completed the $10.1bn acquisition of ImmunoGen, expects to further strengthen its portfolio in the inflammatory and autoimmune diseases sector with the addition of Landos Biopharma.

NX-13 is an investigational oral NLRX1 agonist. It has a bimodal mechanism of action (MOA) to assist in epithelial repair by using anti-inflammatory properties.

It is currently in the Phase 2 NEXUS clinical trial in patients with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis. The randomised controlled proof-of-concept study is recruiting patients in the US and Europe.

It was started in Q2 2023 with topline results anticipated in Q4 2024.

AbbVie global therapeutics chief medical officer and senior vice president Roopal Thakkar said: “With this acquisition, we aim to advance the clinical development of NX-13, a differentiated, first-in-class, oral asset with the potential to make a difference in the lives of people living with ulcerative colitis and Crohn`s disease.”

As per the agreement, AbbVie will pay shareholders of the Nasdaq-listed Landos Biopharma $20.42 per share in cash at closing, which comes to around $137.5m.

In addition, Landos Biopharma’s shareholders will be entitled to one non-tradable contingent value right per share, valued up to $11.14 per share. This equates to nearly $75m and is subject to meeting a clinical development milestone.

Landos Biopharma president and CEO Gregory Oakes said: “This announcement is a testament to Landos` talented team and their commitment to our mission of creating oral treatments that can address a therapeutic gap.

“NX-13 and its bimodal MOA have the potential to provide a novel approach to the treatment of ulcerative colitis and Crohn`s disease.

“With AbbVie`s therapeutic area leadership and expertise in global development, they are the right company to further advance NX-13.”

The anticipated closing date of the proposed deal is in Q2 2024, subject to Landos Biopharma’s shareholders’ approval along with other conditions.