The Life Sciences team advised Semma Therapeutics on its definitive agreement to be acquired by Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ: VRTX) for $950 million in cash. Under the terms of the acquisition, Vertex will acquire all outstanding shares of Semma, and Semma will become a separate operating subsidiary of Vertex. The companies anticipate the acquisition will close in the fourth quarter of 2019, subject to certain conditions, including the expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and other customary conditions.
Semma was founded by Douglas Melton, Ph.D. and others to develop transformative therapies for patients who currently depend on insulin injections. The company is focused on advancing Dr. Melton’s method of generating billions of functional, insulin-producing beta cells grown from stem cells in the laboratory, which develop in islet-like clusters. Initial preclinical work in animal models of diabetes has shown that transplantation of these cells by infusion into the liver is sufficient to control blood glucose levels. Semma has demonstrated a differentiated approach to treat type 1 diabetes, a serious disease affecting over one million people in the United States alone.
The Goodwin team was led by partners Danielle Lauzon and Kingsley Taft, counsel Naina Bhadra and associates Daniel Hughes, Hilary Levin and Kim Larie and included partners Sarah Bock, Jennifer Fay and Daniel Karelitz and associates Timothy Holahan, Christina Bitter, James Devendorf and Matthew Dunay.
For additional details on the acquisition, please read the press release.