Vertex Bets $950M on Semma and a Stem Cell Therapy for Diabetes – Xconomy

Written by Frank Vinluan

Vertex Pharmaceuticals is paying $950 million to acquire Semma Therapeutics, a biotech startup developing a stem cell therapy for type 1 diabetes.

The deal announced Tuesday is Vertex’s first step into the diabetes field and is the latest in a string of moves the Boston company has made to diversify beyond its core franchise of commercialized and experimental cystic fibrosis treatments. The $950 million figure is also the largest amount that Vertex has committed up front in any deal in its history, according to the company. And it’s a bet on a treatment that has yet to prove its worth in human studies.

Shares of Vertex (NASDAQ: VRTX) ticked down by half a percent after the deal was announced Tuesday.

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