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Randi Hernandez was science editor at BioPharm International from September 2014 to May 2017.
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.