MedImmune acquires biologics company to boost cardiovascular pipeline

AstraZeneca has announced that MedImmune, its global biologics research and development arm, has acquired AlphaCore Pharma, a Michigan-based biotechnology company focused on the development of ACP-501, a recombinant human lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) enzyme. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

LCAT, an enzyme in the bloodstream, is a key component in the reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) system, which is thought to play a major role in driving the removal of cholesterol from the body and may be critical in the management of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels. The LCAT enzyme could also play a role in a rare, hereditary disorder called familial LCAT deficiency (FLD) in which the LCAT enzyme is absent.

In 2012, results from a Phase I clinical trial of ACP-501 met the primary safety and tolerability endpoints. No serious adverse events were reported. ACP-501 also met the study’s secondary endpoints by rapidly and substantially elevating HDL cholesterol. The data from this study support ongoing clinical development of ACP-501.