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Servier to acquire Agios’ oncology business in $1.8bn deal

French pharma will also gain Agios' oncology-associated employees

French pharma Servier has announced that it will acquire Agios Pharmaceuticals’ oncology business unit which includes it entire commercial, clinical and research-stage oncology portfolio.

Under the terms of the deal, Servier will make an upfront payment of $1.8bn, with a potential $200m earmarked for regulatory milestone payments, plus royalties.

The deal reflects Servier’s re-focus on its core business strategy, which includes oncology as a major area of interest.

In a statement, the French pharma company said that it has allocated 50% of its overall research and development budget to oncology, as it aims to bolster its presence in the area.

“The strategic acquisition of Agios’ oncology business, including its precision medicine portfolio and pipeline, is aligned with our ambition to become a recognised player in oncology and further supports our commitment to provide innovative treatments to cancer patients with unmet medical needs,” said Olivier Laureau, president of Servier.

"It is a key step for the Servier Group as it will significantly strengthen our position in the US and reinforce our R&D capabilities in oncology. We look forward to welcoming the experienced Agios oncology teams to Servier following the closing,” added Laureau.

Aside from strengthening its oncology portfolio, Servier’s acquisition of Agios will allow the company to extend its reach into the US market, where it has been operating since 2018.

Servier will not only gain Agios’ oncology platform, but will also add the unit’s associated employees to its roster.

Agios already markets its monotherapy treatment – Tibsovo (ivosidenib) – for IDH1-mutant acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) patients.

The drug is also being studied in two phase 3 combinations trials evaluating the drug in newly-diagnosed AML and as a potential treatment for previously treated IDH1-mutant cholangiocarcinoma and IDH1-mutant myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).

In addition, Servier will also gain the co-commercialisation responsibilities for Bristol Myers Squibb-partnered Idhifa (enasidenib), which is also indicated for AML. Servier will continue to conduct certain clinical development activities within the Idhifa development programme.

As part of the deal, Servier will also acquire a number of oncology pipeline and clinical programmes, which include a number of assets being studied across a range of therapy areas.

“The sale of our oncology portfolio to Servier is a transformational milestone for Agios,” said Jackie Fouse, chief executive officer of Agios.

“We are proud of our heritage in oncology and the novel therapies we have advanced for patients with haematologic malignancies and solid tumours, and we are pleased to have found an excellent home for our oncology portfolio in Servier, a successful, patient-focused, global pharmaceutical company,” she added.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

23rd December 2020

From: Sales

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