Modis Therapeutics, a Columbia University spinout focused on a rare mitochondrial disease, has been bought by Zogenix in a deal potentially worth $400m.

Modis Therapeutics, a US-based rare genetic disease therapy developer partly based on Columbia University research, was  acquired by its peer Zogenix in a $250m cash and stock deal yesterday.

Modis’s investors will receive $175m in cash in addition to $75m of common stock in Zogenix through the deal, which is expected to close in September 2019 on the fulfilment of certain customary conditions.

Founded in 2016, Modis Therapeutics is prioritising a late-stage biopharmaceutical candidate for thymidine kinase 2 (TK2d) deficiency, an inherited and potentially fatal disease which severely impairs the body’s cellular energy output.

There are currently no approved medications for TK2d, which results from mutations in the nuclear TK2 gene. Modis’s candidate, dubbed MT1621, contains a blend of nucleosides believed to be therapeutic.

MT1621 recently completed phase 2 clinical testing where TK2d patients demonstrated substantial improvement – all patients treated during the study have survived to date.

Modis is entitled to receive an additional $150m in total if MT1621 receives approval from the respective US and EU healthcare regulators – Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency. Zogenix will also supply 5% royalties on future net sales of the drug.

MT1621 extends research undertaken in the lab of Michio Hirano, chief of the neuromuscular division at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, in alliance with Ramon Marti, head of neuromuscular and mitochondrial pathology research at the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute.

F-Prime Capital Partners, an investment arm of financial services group Fidelity, co-led Modis Therapeutics’ $30m series A round in October 2018 with healthcare-focused investment firm OrbiMed.

Spinout-focused investment firm Osage University Partners supplied a share of the series A cash, as did Aceras Life Sciences, which had previously injected an undisclosed sum in Modis Therapeutics in 2016.