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Gilead agrees $21bn buyout of Immunomedics

Pharma company gains rights to ADC Trodelvy

Gilead has agreed to acquire oncology specialist Immunomedics for $21bn as the pharma giant continues to bolster its cancer portfolio in a string of M&A deals and partnerships.

The  transaction will see Gilead purchase Immunomedics for $88 per share, for a total value of $21bn, and is expected to close during the fourth quarter of the year. It will be funded by around $15bn in cash, with the remaining $6bn being offered in newly issued debt.

Following the acquisition, Gilead gains rights to Immunomedics antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) Trodelvy (sacituzumab govitecan-hziy), which was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April for the treatment of metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (mTNBC). Immunomedics is also seeking approval in the EU for Trodelvy in the first half of 2021.

Trodelvy significantly improved both progression-free survival and overall survival in the phase 3 ASCENT study, which evaluated the drug in previously treated mTNBC patients. The detailed results are expected to be presented at the upcoming European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Virtual Congress 2020.

The ADC is also being studied in an ongoing phase 3 trial in third line HR+/HER2-positive breast cancer, and a registrational phase 2 study in bladder cancer. Immunomedics is also testing Trodelvy’s potential in non-small cell lung cancer as well as other solid tumour types, as both a monotherapy and in combination with checkpoint inhibitors.

“This acquisition represents significant progress in Gilead’s work to build a strong and diverse oncology portfolio,” said Daniel O’Day, chairman and chief executive officer of Gilead.

“Trodelvy is an approved, transformational medicine for a form of cancer that is particularly challenging to treat. We will now continue to explore its potential to treat many other types of cancer, both as a monotherapy and in combination with other treatments,” he added.

Gilead has been bolstering its oncology portfolio over the course of this year, with prior deals including a play for Tizona Therapeutics and its lead antibody candidate, as well as its all-cash deal for Forty Seven.

In May, Gilead also announced its intent to partner with Arcus Biosciences on the development and commercialisation of next-generation cancer immunotherapies.

This included gaining rights to zimberelimab, an investigational anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody, as well as the right to opt-in to all of Arcus’ other current clinical candidates.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

16th September 2020

From: Sales

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