AstraZeneca has closed the purchase of the biotechnology company Neogene Therapeutics, which specialized in the discovery, development, and manufacture of T cell receptor (TCR-T) therapies to fight cancer, according to a statement issued by the company.
AstraZeneca has taken over all of Neogene’s outstanding shares for $320 million in cash and zero debt. The transaction will be arranged in an initial payment of $200 million at the closing of the transaction and another US$120 million in contingent and non-contingent consideration.
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023, subject to customary conditions and regulatory clearances, so it will not affect AstraZeneca’s financial forecasts for 2022.
“Neogene’s innovation in TCR discovery and extensive experience as manufacturers complement the cell therapy capabilities we have built over the past three years, enabling us to accelerate the development of potentially curative cell therapies for the benefit of patients,” said assured AstraZeneca executive vice president of oncology R&D Susan Galbraith.
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AstraZeneca will make a first payment of $200 million and another of $120 million in consideration
The company, founded in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) in 2018 by Ton Schumacher and Carsten Linnemann, will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of AstraZeneca, with facilities in Amsterdam and California (United States). His team has deep experience in cell and gene therapy and a shared mission to bring next-generation transformative TCR therapies to solid cancer patients worldwide.
“Our expertise in this area, clinical portfolio, and platform technologies, combined with AstraZeneca’s innovation in oncology and its global presence, make us well positioned to translate pioneering science into novel treatments for difficult cancers,” commented Neogene’s CEO, Carsten Linnemann.
For its part, AstraZeneca is building a portfolio of cell therapy products that aim to empower and equip the T cells of the immune system to fight cancer more effectively.
In the first half of the year, the British laboratory earned $748 million, which represents a decrease of 65% compared to the same period of the previous year.
Arjuna Therapeutics closes a round of €1.5 million to advance against cancer
Arjuna Therapeutics increases capital. The Spanish company created at the University of Santiago de Compostela has closed a round of financing of €1.5 million to complete the advanced models of clinical studies, as well as toxicology and industrial production of its technology against cancer. The round has been led by Arjuna Therapeutics’ partner company, Nanogap.
The company is developing a new family of cancer treatments that penetrate tumors, including the brain, and circumvent cancer resistance with minimal side effects. Arjuna Therapeutics focuses on the phenotype rather than the genotype.
Ag5, the first drug from Arjuna Therapeutics, targets tumor cells that generate high levels of reactive oxygen species, a very large group that accounts for 25% of all cancers, including pancreatic cancer.
Likewise, the Spanish company is developing a second drug, called Ag3. Arjuna Therapeutics technology makes it possible to obtain small clusters of atoms in industrial quantities. This type of molecule is difficult to replicate.
Arjuna Therapeutics is developing a second drug, called Ag3
Arjuna Therapeutics has applied to date for two families of patents, protecting the therapeutic use of two specific Therapeutic Molecular Clusters (TMC) molecules in multiple medical conditions and the use of TMC alone or in combination for radiation therapy sensitization.
The resources obtained will allow Arjuna Therapeutics to carry out its developments and later open a new round of financing on an international scale. The scientific work behind Arjuna Therapeutics was carried out in the laboratory of Professor Fernando Domínguez at the University of Santiago de Compostela and was later developed by Nanogap. Ross Breckenridge was hired as CEO in 2019.
Breckenridge is a doctor in Molecular Cardiology from the University of Cambridge. The executive served on the board of directors of Reva Medical, a California-based medical device company, from 2013 to 2018. In 2016, Breckenridge moved to San Francisco to become CEO of biotech Silver Creek Pharmaceuticals.
The Spanish Javier Rivela, who is CEO of Pangea Oncology, is on the company’s board. Rivela has more than ten years of experience in investment banking and has been co-director of the ING European Small&Mid Cap analysis team. Tatiana López, CEO of Nanogap, is also on the board.
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