AstraZeneca today announced that MedImmune, its global biologics research and development arm, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Amplimmune, a privately-held, Maryland, US-based biologics company focused on developing novel therapeutics in cancer immunology.
The acquisition will bolster MedImmune’s oncology pipeline by obtaining multiple early-stage assets for its immune-mediated cancer therapy (IMT-C) portfolio, including AMP-514, an anti-programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) monoclonal antibody (mAb). AMP-514 is currently in late-stage pre-clinical development with the aim of an investigational new drug (IND) filing before the end of 2013. Other Amplimmune assets include multiple preclinical molecules targeting the B7 pathways. MedImmune’s oncology research is focused on IMT-C, a promising therapeutic approach that may lead to durable and prolonged response rates across a range of cancer types. IMT-Cs are being designed to empower the immune system to counteract the tactics employed by cancer cells to avoid detection and attack the body.
Under the terms of the agreement, MedImmune will acquire 100 per cent of Amplimmune’s shares for an initial consideration of $225 million and deferred consideration of up to $275 million based on reaching predetermined development milestones.
“MedImmune’s focus on harnessing the power of the patient’s own immune system to fight cancer will be complemented by Amplimmune’s innovative work in this area. It will allow us to strengthen our arsenal of potential cancer therapies,” said Dr. Bahija Jallal, Executive Vice President, MedImmune. “We are excited to be working with the Amplimmune team to help find new treatments to address areas of unmet medical need.”
MedImmune, with its clinical stage programmes – tremelimumab, anti-OX40 mAb and MEDI-4736 (anti-PD-L1 mAb) – and a robust pre-clinical pipeline, is building one of the most comprehensive programmes in IMT-C. The acquisition of the Amplimmune technology and pipeline significantly strengthens the AstraZeneca and MedImmune portfolio, enabling the pursuit of the most effective data-driven combinations of IMT-C molecules as well as combinations with highly targeted small molecules. Because of the complexity of cancer biology, combination therapies have the potential to be one of the most effective ways of treating this disease.
“Both companies are passionate about developing new cancer therapies for patients and are excited about the potential of immunotherapies. We are pleased to be joining MedImmune, who will work to further advance the pioneering work we’ve been conducting in this area,” said Michael Richman, Amplimmune’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “The synergy achieved by combining our pipelines provides an important path towards developing novel immunotherapy products.”
The proposed transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2013.