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AstraZeneca inked a deal worth up to $320 million to purchase Neogene Therapeutics, a biotech start-up focused on T-cell receptor therapies.
AstraZeneca announced its acquisition of Neogene Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing next-generation T-cell receptor therapies (TCR-Ts), on Nov. 29, 2022. AstraZeneca will pay $200 million in upfront fees, with an additional $120 million to be paid in both contingent milestones and non-contingent consideration. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023.
Neogene Therapeutics has focused on developing TCR-Ts for the treatment of cancer. According to a company press release, while most T-cell therapies focus on modifying the immune system’s T cells to recognize proteins expressed on the surface of cancer cells. TCR-Ts, however, can recognize intracellular targets like cancer-specific mutations, which presents opportunities for previously inaccessible targets.
“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, Oncology R&D, AstraZeneca, in the press release. “Neogene’s leading TCR discovery capabilities and extensive manufacturing experience complement the cell therapy capability we have built over the last three years and allow us to accelerate the development of potentially curative cell therapies for the benefit of patients.”
“We are excited to work together with AstraZeneca towards our shared mission of transforming the treatment options for patients with solid tumors using next-generation [TCR-Ts],” said Carsten Linnemann, CEO, Neogene, in the release. “Our expertise, clinical portfolio and platform technologies in this area combined with AstraZeneca’s leadership in oncology and global footprint mean we are well-positioned to translate pioneering science into novel treatments for hard-to-treat cancers.”