Coverage: Celgene to buy cancer drugmaker for up to $7 billion
Celgene Corp. agreed to buy Impact Biomedicines for $1.1 billion to gain an experimental blood cancer treatment, but the price could reach as much as $7 billion if the drug reaches certain milestones.
Cecile Daurat of Bloomberg News had the story:
Under the agreement, Celgene will add up to $1.25 billion to the upfront payment if Impact’s drug fedratinib reaches approval milestones to treat myelofibrosis, a form of bone marrow cancer, and another $150 million for other indications. Additional payments could reach as much as $4.5 billion if global annual sales rise above $5 billion, according to a statement Sunday.
The total price would make Impact one of Celgene’s biggest acquisitions ever. The drugmaker is under increasing pressure to replace revenue from its top-selling cancer treatment before copycat medicines eat into Revlimid sales. Its stock lost more than a quarter of its value during a five-day stretch in October, after a highly anticipated drug for Crohn’s disease failed a late-stage trial and the drugmaker cut its 2020 profit target.
The shares haven’t recouped, and as of Friday traded 28 percent below their 2017 peak of early October, giving Celgene a market value of about $83 billion.
Ed Carson of Investor’s Business Daily reported that fedratinib was previously sold to Sanofi:
Fedratinib is a potential treatment for myelofibrosis, a type of bone marrow cancer.
“Myelofibrosis is a disease with high unmet medical need as the number of patients who are ineligible for or become resistant to existing therapy continues to increase,” said Nadim Ahmed, President, Hematology and Oncology for Celgene, in a statement announcing the Celgene-Impact deal. “We believe fedratinib is uniquely positioned as a potential treatment for myelofibrosis and it provides strategic options for us to build leadership in this disease with luspatercept and other pipeline assets.”
Impact Bio’s founders previously sold fedratinib to France’s Sanofi, which gave up development of the treatment in 2013 due to serious side effects. Impact later bought the rights back.
If successful, fedratinib would compete with a similar drug from Incyte, known as Jakafi.
Chris Jennewein of The Times of San Diego reported that the drug has shown “meaningful improvements”:
Celgene will pay approximately $1.1 billion upfront and up to $1.25 billion in contingent payments based on regulatory approval milestones. Additional future payments for sales-based milestones are also possible.
“We believe Celgene is the ideal organization to follow through on our mission of maximizing fedratinib’s potential for patients with myelofibrosis,” said Dr. John Hood, chief executive officer of Impact BioMedicines.
In trials, the drug has “demonstrated clinically meaningful improvements” and further further regulatory testing will begin in the middle of this year.
“Myelofibrosis is a disease with high unmet medical need as the number of patients who are ineligible for or become resistant to existing therapy continues to increase,” said Nadim Ahmed, president of hematology and oncology for Celgene. “We believe fedratinib is uniquely positioned as a potential treatment for myelofibrosis.”