On October 18, Eli Lilly announced a definitive agreement to acquire Akouos. Under the terms of the deal, Eli Lilly will acquire all outstanding shares of Akouos for $12.50 per share in cash, plus a contingent value right of up to $3 per share, for a total of up to $610 million.
Founded in 2016, Massachusetts-based Akouos is a precision genetic medicine company developing gene therapies to restore, improve and maintain high-acuity physiological hearing for people with disabling hearing loss worldwide. Its precision genetic medicine platform combines a proprietary library of AAV vectors and novel delivery methods to focus on developing precision therapies in the form of sensorineural hearing loss.
Akouos combines expertise in otology, inner ear drug delivery and gene therapy to meet the needs of people with disabling hearing loss worldwide. Akouos’ lead product candidate, AK-OTOF, is a gene therapy for the treatment of hearing loss caused by mutations in the otoferlin gene (OTOF), and other pipeline programs include a variety of inner ear diseases.
Dr. Emmanuel Simons, co-founder, president and chief executive officer of Akouos, said: “I am proud of the team, Akouos is a pioneer in genetic medicine in the inner ear, and our work advances the first investigational therapy for an inherited hearing loss into clinical development. “Lilly and Lilly share our goal of making life better for people around the world, and joining Lilly will help us accelerate the widespread development of genetic medicines for the inner ear.”
Daniel Skovronsky, Ph.D., Chief Scientific and Medical Officer of Lilly and President of Lilly Research Laboratories, said: “Gene therapy offers a tremendous opportunity to provide patients with genetic diseases with durable treatments. This is our second acquisition in the gene therapy space, We previously acquired Prevail Prevail in 2021. With Akouos, we can make a difference for people with hearing loss and other inner ear disorders.”