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Vancouver biotech Chinook Therapeutics to be acquired for US$3.2B

Sale price a 67 per cent premium over the stock’s previous close
Researchers at Chinook Therapeutics specialize in developing treatments for kidney diseases. | Submitted

Vancouver-based Chinook Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq:KDNY) is set to be acquired for US$3.2 billion by Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company Novartis. The deal, which is still pending approval by shareholders, would mark a significant exit for Vancouver’s life sciences industry.

Founded in 2011, Chinook Therapeutics is focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of medicines for kidney diseases. In August of 2019 it raised $65 million from investors for its kidney disease treatments. Less than a year later, in 2020, the company merged with Silicon Valley-based biopharmaceutical company Audro Biotech Inc. 

Novartis will acquire all outstanding Chinook shares for US$40 per share, a 67 per cent premium over the stock’s close on June 9 (US$23.99). Chinook shareholders will also receive an additional US$4 per share through contingent value rights based off of regulatory approval for Chinook’s lead product, atrasentan, a treatment for nephropathy and proteinuric glomerular diseases. 

The deal is expected to close later this year.

“Through this merger, Novartis can apply its substantial resources to pursue broader development efforts and commercialization of atrasentan, zigakibart and other programs in our pipeline,” Chinook CEO and president Eric Dobmeier said in a statement.