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Covington Represents Biopharmaceutical Startup IFM Tre in $1.575B Sale to Novartis

April 5, 2019

NEW YORKCovington represented IFM Tre, Inc. in its sale to Novartis for a $310 million upfront cash payment and up to $1.265 billion in milestone payments (for a total of $1.575 billion).

IFM Tre develops chemically distinct systemic, gut-directed, and CNS-penetrant drug candidates to address several indications triggered by NLRP3, including metabolic, fibrotic, autoimmune, auto-inflammatory, and neurological diseases. The acquisition will give Novartis full rights to IFM Tre's portfolio of NLPR3 antagonists, which consist of one clinical and two pre-clinical programs: IFM-2427, a first-in-class, clinical stage systemic antagonist for an array of chronic inflammatory disorders including atherosclerosis and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH); a pre-clinical stage gut-directed molecule for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease; and a pre-clinical stage central nervous system (CNS)-penetrant molecule.

IFM and Novartis anticipate the transaction will close during the second quarter of 2019. Closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

IFM Tre is a subsidiary of IFM Therapeutics, LLC, a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapies that modulate novel targets in the innate immune system. In 2017, Covington represented IFM in the sale of its oncology programs to Bristol-Myers Squibb.

The Covington deal team included Ellen Corenswet, Jack Bodner, Joe Gangitano, Allison Schiffman, and Tracy Blauweiss (corporate), Amy Toro (life sciences transactions), Scott Cunningham and Marienna Murch (regulatory), Jenna Wallace and Megan Woodford  (employee benefits), James Dean and Silvia Wu (HSR), Lee Kelley, Jonathan Endean, and Jamin Koo (tax), and David Fagan and Ruchi Gill (CFIUS).

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