Apple Tree Partners Portfolio Company Corvidia Therapeutics to be Acquired by Novo Nordisk
NEW YORK, June 12, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Apple Tree Partners (ATP), a leading life sciences fund, will exit its ownership stake in Corvidia Therapeutics, a precision cardiovascular therapeutics company, with Novo Nordisk’s acquisition of Corvidia. On June 11, 2020, Novo Nordisk announced their agreement to acquire Corvidia Therapeutics for an upfront cash payment of $725 million USD and additional cash payments that could ultimately amount to $2.1 billion USD with Novo Nordisk’s achievement of certain regulatory and sales milestones. Apple Tree Partners was an original founder of Corvidia Therapeutics and is one of the company’s largest shareholders, having co-led its Series A raise in 2016 and following through with substantial additional investments in its Series B round in 2018.
“Over the past two decades, Apple Tree Partners has established and sustained a track record of success in building, launching and growing innovative biotechnology companies that create meaningful value for investors, patients and society,” said ATP founder and managing partner Seth Harrison, M.D. “With Corvidia Therapeutics, we set an ambitious vision to create the world’s first cardiovascular precision medicine company, and it has been gratifying work to realize this vision for the benefit of patients.”
Corvidia’s lead pipeline candidate is ziltivekumab, a fully human monoclonal antibody directed against Interleukin-6 (IL-6) that is being developed to reduce the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events in people with chronic kidney disease who also have atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and inflammation. ATP’s chief medical officer Paul Eisenberg, M.D., M.P.H., who serves on Corvidia’s Board of Directors, explains: “The importance of inflammation in progression of cardiovascular disease is well established. The potential for decreasing cardiovascular events, such as myocardial infarction and stroke, by inhibiting IL-6 has been identified in basic research, as well as in a sub-study of the landmark CANTOS trial led by Paul Ridker. Corvidia’s ziltivekimab has the potential to become a first- and best-in-class treatment to lower the burden of cardiovascular disease in a patient population that is at high risk of major adverse cardiovascular events.”
With Novo Nordisk’s purchase, Corvidia will become the third ATP portfolio company to have been acquired over the past two years. In November 2018, Alexion completed its acquisition of Syntimmune, a company developing novel treatments for IgG-mediated autoimmune diseases for which ATP co-led the second round of Series A funding and led Series B fundraising. And in January 2020, Smith & Nephew acquired Tusker Medical, Inc., the developer of the Tula System, an FDA-approved breakthrough device that can be used to place ear tubes in young children using local anesthesia in the physician office setting. ATP, the sole venture investor in Tusker Medical, spun the company out from Johnson & Johnson.
Since its founding by Harrison in 1999, Apple Tree Partners has invested in groundbreaking life sciences products and technologies across a wide range of medical specialization areas, leveraging its capital through syndication with larger venture firms and corporate partners. ATP’s strategy is to build companies from the ground up, taking a long view of investments and investing in significant ownership stakes.