Allergan to acquire University of Sydney spinoff Elastagen

9 February 2018
University spinoff Elastagen Pty Ltd has entered into a definitive agreement under which Allergan plc, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, has agreed to acquire the company.
Gloved hands holding up elastin sheets for tissue repair.

Elastin sheets for tissue repair.

Elastagen Pty Ltd, a clinical stage company developing medical device products based on recombinant tropoelastin, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement under which Allergan plc, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, has agreed to acquire Elastagen.

The deal will consist of an upfront payment of US$95 million (AUD$120 million) plus contingent, commercial payments.

Elastagen’s revolutionary technology is based on recombinant human tropoelastin, the self-assembling elastic protein which allows the body to repair elastic tissues in the skin, artery, bladder and lung.

Elastagen’s tropoelastin is identical to that present in human tissue and has many potential clinical applications, including treatment for acne scars, stretch marks, aesthetic skin repair and surgical wound repair.

Professor Anthony Weiss.

Professor Anthony Weiss, University of Sydney McCaughey Chair in Biochemistry and founder and lead scientific adviser of Elastagen Pty Ltd.

University of Sydney McCaughey Chair in Biochemistry Professor Anthony Weiss, together with his team at the University of Sydney, has been perfecting the technology for the past 20 years.

“Our technology has come a long way from the lab bench at the University of Sydney towards developing products for patients around the world,” Professor Weiss whose Weiss Lab is based at the University of Sydney’s multidisciplinary Charles Perkins Centre, said.

I thank my team at the University of Sydney and greatly look forward to seeing our science commercialised by Allergan.
Professor Anthony Weiss

Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence AC said the commercialisation highlighted the University’s capabilities in developing cutting-edge technologies that can revolutionise healthcare.

“Elastagen is a great example of the vital importance of basic research which can then lead to extraordinary translations into valuable outcomes for patients – in this case, to aid skin and wound repair. We are thrilled this research will soon be available for broad use with the help of global pharmaceutical company Allergan.”

Dr Spence added: “The University has had sustained success in commercialising our research, with 1,100 patents filed in the past 20 years, 21 staff-led startups in the past 10 years and 19 new commercialisation deals in the past year alone. More importantly, we aim to do even better in the years to come and are investing in the resources and capabilities to do so.”

Robert Daniels, Elastagen CEO, noted: “Partnering with Allergan, a leader in medical aesthetics, is incredibly exciting. I thank the Elastagen team for their hard work and dedication in developing our innovative tropoelastin product pipeline and look forward to working with Allergan to take these products to market.” 

Bill Meury, Chief Commercial Officer at Allergan, said the acquisition would bolster one of the company’s fastest growing areas.

“Our Juvederm collection of fillers has sales of over $1 billion globally and is one of the fastest growing parts of our Aesthetics business. This acquisition and the development of a next generation of injectables based on this technology will ensure Allergan offers innovative filler products for years to come.” 

Professor Weiss was awarded an Order of Australia in the Australia Day 2018 Honours list, for his contribution to science in the field of biotechnology, as an academic, researcher, author and mentor, and through executive roles with scientific institutions.