AstraZeneca to acquire Neogene Therapeutics, accelerating ambition in Oncology cell therapy

AstraZeneca to acquire Neogene Therapeutics, accelerating ambition in Oncology cell therapy

AstraZeneca today announced an agreement to acquire Neogene Therapeutics Inc. (Neogene), a global clinical-stage biotechnology company pioneering the discovery, development and manufacturing of next-generation T-cell receptor therapies (TCR-Ts) that offer a novel cell therapy approach for targeting cancer.

With a shared goal of bringing cell therapies to patients with solid tumours, Neogene’s expertise in TCR-T discovery, development and manufacturing will strengthen AstraZeneca’s ambition to transform outcomes for patients.

TCR-Ts are emerging as a promising therapeutic modality in cancer treatment. Most current cell therapy approaches in oncology focus on modifying the immune system’s T cells to recognise proteins expressed on the surface of cancer cells. In contrast, TCR-Ts can recognise intracellular targets, including cancer-specific mutations, thereby potentially unlocking targets previously inaccessible using cell therapies.

Susan Galbraith, Executive Vice President, Oncology R&D, AstraZeneca, said: “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. 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.”

Carsten Linnemann, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, Neogene, said: “We are excited to work together with AstraZeneca towards our shared mission of transforming the treatment options for patients with solid tumours using next-generation T-cell receptor therapies. 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.”

Neogene will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of AstraZeneca, with operations in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and California, US.

Financial considerations

AstraZeneca will acquire all outstanding equity of Neogene for a total consideration of up to $320m, on a cash and debt free basis. This will include an initial payment of $200m on deal closing, and a further up to $120m in both contingent milestones-based and non-contingent consideration.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory clearances. The transaction does not impact AstraZeneca’s financial guidance for 2022.

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