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AstraZeneca to buy Neogene for $320 million


HQ Team

November 30, 2022: AstraZeneca, an Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company, is set to acquire Neogene Therapeutics, a biotechnology firm, for $320 million as it aims to build its own cell-based cancer therapies.

The acquisition will be on a cash and debt-free basis. AstraZeneca will initially pay $200m on the closing of the deal, according to a statement.

The company will pay an additional $120m for contingent milestones-based and non-contingent consideration.

The transaction may close in the first quarter of 2023. The deal does not impact AstraZeneca’s financial guidance for 2022.

Sales rise

Sales in the third quarter rose to $11 billion from $9.87 billion year-on-year, with medicines such as lung-cancer treatment Tagrisso, liver-cancer treatment Imfinzi and ovarian-cancer drug Lynparza showing an upward trend.

The company forecasted that earnings per share could grow by a percentage in the low thirties, up from the high twenties.

“This acquisition represents a unique opportunity to bring innovative science and leading experts in T-cell receptor biology and cell therapy manufacturing together with our internal oncology cell therapy team, unlocking new ways to target cancer,” said Susan Galbraith, Executive vice president, of Oncology R&D, AstraZeneca.

T-cell therapy

Neogene develops T-cell receptor therapies (TCR-Ts) that offer a new approach to target cancer.

Most cell therapy approaches in oncology focus on modifying the immune system’s T cells to recognise proteins expressed on the surface of cancer cells.

In contrast, according to the statement, TCR-Ts can recognise intracellular targets, including cancer-specific mutations, thereby potentially unlocking targets previously inaccessible using cell therapies.

The acquisition will add to a pipeline of AstraZeneca’s cell-based cancer treatments built over the last three years.

Neogene will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of AstraZeneca, with operations in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and California.

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