AstraZeneca to buy blood cancer focused biotech in deal valued at up to $1.27bn

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/wildpixel
© GettyImages/wildpixel

Related tags hematology non-Hodgkin lymphoma blood cancers Astrazeneca preclinical acquisition Mergers and acquisitions

AstraZeneca is to acquire US-based blood cancer specialist, TeneoTwo, in a deal worth around US$1.27bn.

TeneoTwo is developing an experimental therapy, TNB-486, part of a class of therapeutic antibodies known as T-cell engagers, which are emerging as a promising therapeutic approach in hematologic malignancies and solid tumors, said the Anglo-Swedish pharma giant.

By binding to both CD19, an antigen expressed on B-cells, and to the CD3 receptor on T-cells, TNB-486 is designed to activate and recruit T-cells to CD19-expressing tumors where they can elicit an immune response. It is currently being assessed for the treatment of relapsed and refractory B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

AstraZeneca said it wants to accelerate the development of that potential new medicine for B-cell hematologic malignancies, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma.

TNB-486, it added, will further diversify its hematology pipeline that spans multiple therapeutic modalities and mechanisms to address a broad spectrum of blood cancers.

“By applying our deep understanding of blood cancers, leveraging our strength in solid tumor oncology and delivering on Alexion’s pioneering legacy in complement science to provide transformative medicines for rare diseases, we are pursuing the end-to-end development of novel therapies designed to target underlying drivers of disease,” ​said the London listed pharma group.

Terms of the deal 

AstraZeneca will acquire all outstanding equity of TeneoTwo in exchange for an upfront payment of US$100m on deal closing and additional milestone payments of up to US$1.17bn.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory clearances. 

TeneoTwo was one of three affiliates Teneobio spun off to existing equity holders prior to it being taken over by Amgen last year.

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