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Pierre Fabre Acquires Vertical Bio Hoping to Bring MET-Targeted NSCLC Agent to Clinic

NEW YORK – Pierre Fabre Laboratories on Tuesday said it has acquired the Basel, Switzerland-based biotech Vertical Bio.

Through the deal, Castres, France-based Pierre Fabre is adding Vertical Bio's c-MET degrader VERT-002 into its oncology pipeline. In preclinical studies, VERT-002 has shown potential as a best-in-class agent in non-small cell lung cancers harboring MET mutations or amplifications. Vertical Bio is currently evaluating the agent in investigational new drug application-enabling studies and expects to begin first-in-human clinical trials in 2024.

The deal fits with Pierre Fabre's strategy of spending 80 percent of its R&D budget on advancing precision oncology therapeutics and follows two other deals focused on NSCLC treatments. In one collaboration with Scorpion Therapeutics inked earlier this year, Pierre Fabre is codeveloping and commercializing two drugs in EGFR-mutated NSCLC. The other deal is a longstanding agreement with Pfizer on an NSCLC program.

"We are excited about the acquisition of this biotechnology company and the addition of VERT-002 to reinforce our research and development portfolio in lung cancer," Pierre Fabre CEO Eric Ducournau said in a statement. "This acquisition is another testimony of our commitment to invest in the discovery and development of innovative treatments in precision oncology."

Pierre Fabre and Vertical Bio did not disclose the financial details of the acquisition.