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Amgen to Acquire Privately Held Teneobio for $900 Million in Cash With Future Contingent Milestone Payments

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Amgen to Acquire Privately Held Teneobio for $900 Million in Cash With Future Contingent Milestone Payments | Pharmtech Focus

Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) and Teneobio today announced an agreement under which Amgen will acquire Teneobio, a privately held, clinical stage biotechnology company developing a new class of biologics called Human Heavy-Chain Antibodies.  Under the terms of the agreement, Amgen will acquire all outstanding shares of Teneobio at closing in exchange for a $900 million upfront cash payment, as well as future contingent milestone payments to Teneobio equity holders potentially worth up to an additional $1.6 billion in cash.

The acquisition includes Teneobio’s proprietary bispecific and multispecific antibody technologies, which will enable significant acceleration and efficiency in the discovery and development of new molecules that have the potential to treat a wide range of important diseases across Amgen’s core therapeutic areas. These platforms complement Amgen’s existing antibody capabilities with the addition of a heavy-chain only platform that allows a streamlined, sequence-based discovery approach for target binders, as well as Teneobio’s novel T-cell engager platform, which expands on Amgen’s existing leadership position in bispecific T-cell engagers by providing a differentiated, but complementary, approach to Amgen’s current BiTE® platform.

“The acquisition of Teneobio will strengthen our ability to develop innovative medicines to treat patients with serious illnesses and to bring to market best-in-class products, particularly with respect to multispecific and bispecific medicines directed against targets in a wide range of diseases across our core therapeutic areas,” said David M. Reese, M.D., executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen.  “Teneobio’s antibody platform complements our existing capabilities and could potentially give us a more diverse set of building blocks that can be developed into new multispecific therapeutics.  In addition, the availability of Teneobio’s CD3 engager technology will allow us to broaden our capabilities in generating bispecifics, and with our own technology, enable customization of the T cell engaging domain of the molecules depending on the disease and target.”

The acquisition will also add TNB-585, a Phase 1 bispecific T cell-engager for the treatment of metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), and several preclinical oncology pipeline assets with the potential for near-term IND filings.  TNB-585 complements Amgen’s existing prostate cancer portfolio, which includes acapatamab (formerly AMG 160) and AMG 509, both in Phase 1.  Each of these three investigational therapies uses a different approach to treat a highly prevalent disease for which new treatment options are very much needed.

“The Teneobio team is enthusiastic about joining forces with Amgen, a pioneer of biotherapeutics.  Amgen’s R&D resources and its extensive clinical experience in immuno-oncology are ideally suited to applying and advancing Teneobio’s differentiated technologies and multispecific antibodies to deliver transformative medicines,” said Roland Buelow, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Teneobio.  “Over the last five years, Teneobio developed leading-edge expertise in efficiently engineering differentiated multispecific and bispecific therapeutics for numerous indications with potentially better safety, efficacy and pharmacokinetic profiles than the first generation of T-cell engagers.  Together, we share a focused commitment to rapidly discover, develop and deliver novel and meaningful disease-modifying multispecific antibodies to patients in need.”

In June 2021, AbbVie Inc. exercised its right to acquire TeneoOne, Inc. (a Teneobio affiliate), which includes TNB-383B, an anti-CD3/BCMA bispecific for the treatment of relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.  Further details of this transaction, including conditions to closing, can be found here.  Prior to close of the Amgen acquisition, three Teneobio affiliates will be spun-off to Teneobio’s existing equity holders: TeneoTwo, Inc. (anti-CD19/CD3), TeneoFour, Inc. (anti-CD38 enzyme inhibitor) and TeneoTen, Inc. (anti-HBV/CD3).

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the second half of 2021.  Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC acted as financial advisor to Amgen and Latham & Watkins LLP as its legal advisor. Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP acted as legal advisor to TeneoBio. 

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