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The acquisition will bolster Celgene’s immunotherapy pipeline.
Celgene announced on July 14, 2015 that it is acquiring Receptos, a biopharmaceutical company that was formed in 2009 through the in-licensing of patents from the Scripps Research Institute.
Receptos’ ozanimod-a novel, oral selective sphingosine 1-phosphate 1 and 5 receptor modulator (S1P)-is currently in development for the treatment of relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS) as well as for the treatment of two irritable bowel disease indications: Ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD). The SUNBEAM and RADIANCE Phase III trials, which are currently underway, compare 0.5 mg and 1.0 mg of ozanimod with disease-modifying antirheumatic drug interferon beta-1a (Avonex) in patients with RMS.
"Ozanimod is a potentially transformational oral therapy that has demonstrated robust clinical activity with impressive immune-inflammatory modulating properties in Phase II trials," said Scott Smith, president, inflammation and immunology at Celgene, in a press release. "Ozanimod is a highly differentiated next-generation S1P receptor modulator with important efficacy and safety features that create the opportunity for development across a spectrum of immune-inflammatory diseases."
Celgene’s acquisition will strengthen Celgene’s immunotherapeutic portfolio. Upon completion of the transaction, Celgene’s pipeline will “consist of three high-potential commercialized or late-stage assets: Otezla (apremilast), GED-0301, and ozanimod,” all of which are in Phase III development. The three Phase III candidates encompass four inflammatory indications: Behçet's disease, CD, UC, and RMS.
Celgene will also gain the rights to a few other drugs through the addition of Receptos. In 2012, Receptos licensed RPC4046 from AbbVie, and had been investigating the drug in a Phase II trial (HEROES) for the treatment of eosinophilic esophagitis. The company also has an oral glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in the pipeline.
Celgene’s acquisition of Receptos occurs just two weeks after Celgene entered into a $1-billion partnership with Juno Therapeutics to develop and commercialize immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases.