AstraZeneca to acquire Neogene for $320 million
Posted: 29 November 2022 | Catherine Eckford (European Pharmaceutical Review) | No comments yet
AstraZeneca is set to acquire Neogene Therapeutics to advance T-cell receptor therapies for hard-to-treat cancers like solid tumours.
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AstraZeneca has announced it will acquire biotech Neogene Therapeutics Inc. for up to $320 million, to boost development of next-generation oncology T-cell receptor therapies (TCR-Ts) for patients with solid tumours, helping to increase access to cell therapies.
T-cell receptor therapies
TCR-Ts are an emerging therapeutic to treat cancer. Most current cell therapy approaches for oncology focus on modifying the immune system’s T cells to recognise proteins on the surface of cancer cells. However, TCR-Ts recognise intracellular targets, including cancer-specific mutations. This could potentially unlock targets previously inaccessible with cell therapies.
Neogene develop and manufacture personalised TCR therapies in addition to TCR therapies targeting shared neoantigens, including mutated KRAS (mKRAS) and mutated TP53 (mTP53). According to MedlinePlus, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s National Library of Medicine, these mutations are strongly involved in several cancers, including pancreatic and colorectal cancers. The mutations lead to a K-Ras protein that is more overactivate than mutations that cause cardiofaciocutaneous syndrome, a rare condition which results in multiple congenital anomalies.
AstraZeneca’s acquisition of Neogene Therapeutics
Susan Galbraith, Executive Vice President of Oncology R&D at AstraZeneca shared: “This acquisition represents a unique opportunity to bring innovative science and leading experts in T-cell receptor biology and cell therapy manufacturing together [to unlock] new ways to target cancer… and allow us to accelerate the development of potentially curative cell therapies for the benefit of patients.”
Carsten Linnemann, PhD, Chief Executive Officer at Neogene commented: “We are excited to work together with AstraZeneca towards transforming the treatment options for patients with solid tumours using next-generation T-cell receptor therapies… for hard-to-treat cancers.”
AstraZeneca will acquire Neogene through an initial payment of $200 million on closing of the deal, then a further payment up to $120 million in both contingent milestones-based and non-contingent consideration.
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory clearances.