Biogen announced it will buy Human Immunology Biosciences (HI-Bio) in a deal worth up to $1.8 billion Wednesday morning.

Per terms of the transaction, Biogen will make an upfront payment of $1.15 billion to HI-Bio and the latter’s stockholders will be eligible for payments of up to an additional $650 million dependent on developmental milestones for the felzartamab programs.

The transaction is being financed by Biogen’s cash reserves and is expected to close in Q3, following customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

Felzartamab is HI-Bio’s lead investigational therapeutic human monoclonal antibody directed against CD38. The asset was originally developed by MorphoSys AG for treating multiple myeloma and has shown the ability to selectively deplete CD38+ plasma cells and natural killer cells in multiple Phase 2 studies. 

This has prompted HI-Bio to plan on advancing these indications – including primary membranous nephropathy (PMN), antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) and IgA nephropathy (IgAN) – to Phase 3 trials.

Additionally, Biogen is picking up izastobart/HIB210, an anti-C5aR1 antibody currently in a Phase 1 trial, as well as HI-Bio’s discovery stage mast cell programs focused on treating a range of immune-mediated diseases.

Biogen stated in a company press release that it seeks to retain “expertise and talent” from HI-Bio and create a team based in the Bay Area to expand its efforts in immune-mediated diseases.

“We believe this late-stage asset, which has demonstrated impact on key biomarkers and clinical endpoints in three renal diseases with serious unmet needs, is a strategic addition to the Biogen portfolio as we continue to augment our pipeline and build on our expertise in immunology,” said Priya Singhal, MD, MPH, head of development at Biogen, in a statement. “We look forward to welcoming HI-Bio employees into Biogen and, together, working to advance potential therapies for patients with rare immune diseases with high unmet need.”

The HI-Bio deal was released about a month after Biogen topped analyst expectations with its latest quarterly earnings report.

While Biogen’s total revenue dropped 7% to $2.2 billion, its GAAP operating income grew 10% and its non-GAAP diluted earnings per share (EPS) rose 8% to $3.67 in Q1.

In light of the solid top line performance, Biogen reaffirmed its full-year financial guidance, which is not expected to be negatively impacted by the HI-Bio acquisition.