Under the agreement, Lilly will begin a tender offer to acquire all the outstanding shares of Akouos for $12.50/ share in cash, plus one CVR of up to $3.00/share for an aggregate of up to $610M. The company noted that there can be no assurance that any payments will be made with respect to the CVR.
Akouos' lead product candidate is AK-OTOF for which the company received clearance from the FDA in September to start a phase 1/2 trial to treat pediatric patients with otoferlin gene (OTOF)-mediated hearing loss.
Lilly said Akouos' other programs include AK-CLRN1 for Usher Type 3A, an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by progressive loss of both hearing and vision; GJB2 for a common form of monogenic deafness and hearing loss; and AK-antiVEGF to treat vestibular schwannoma.
"We believe that with Lilly's resources, global reach, and growing capabilities in gene therapy, we can help Akouos fulfill their mission of making healthy hearing available to all," said Andrew Adams, senior vice president of genetic medicine and co-director of the Institute for Genetic Medicine, Lilly.
Akouos' board has recommended its stockholders to tender their shares.
Lilly said certain Akouos stockholders, owning ~26% of common stock, agreed to tender their shares, subject to conditions.
The transaction is expected to close in Q4 2022, subject to antitrust clearance and the tender of a majority of Akouos' stock.
AKUS +87.30% to $13.13 premarket Oct. 18
LLY +0.64% to $334.88 premarket to Oct. 18