Walder Wyss advises Versant in the sale of Vertical Bio to Pierre Fabre

Pierre Fabre Laboratories, the French pharmaceutical and dermo-cosmetic company, announced the acquisition of Vertical Bio, a a biotechnology company developing a novel antibody to treat certain forms of cancer. Vertical Bio was founded by Versant Ventures and was launched out of the firm’s Ridgeline Discovery Engine based in Basel, Switzerland. Leveraging Ridgeline’s biology capabilities, Vertical Bio advanced VERT-002 through preclinical studies and towards an IND submission. The first-in-human studies are expected to begin in 2024.

This acquisition enables Pierre Fabre Laboratories to further strengthen their R&D portfolio in precision oncology with a product about to enter clinical development. In line with its innovation strategy, the Group has made oncology its top priority in medical care and dedicates every year circa 80% of its R&D spendings to this therapeutic area. In 2022, the Oncology Franchise achieved revenues of 467 M€, a sharp 221% increase vs 2019 revenues.      

Walder Wyss advised Versant Ventures on this transaction. The team included partner Alexander Gutmans (pictured left), associates Lucas Maurer and Simon Olstein, senior associate Karina Tschon (pictured right; all corporate/M&A) and managing associate Michelle Bruni (corporate/M&A and tax).