AstraZeneca acquires biotech Neogene for $320M in bid to expand cancer treatments

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AstraZeneca acquires biotech Neogene for $320M in bid to expand cancer treatments
Credit: © Reuters.

By Scott Kanowsky -- AstraZeneca PLC (LON: AZN ) has signed a $320 million cash and debt deal to acquire bio-technology group Neogene Therapeutics, as the U.K. drugmaker looks to expand its cancer therapy portfolio.

In a statement on Tuesday, AstraZeneca said the transaction will include a $200M initial payment, plus an additional $120M that is partly contingent on hitting certain milestones. The purchase is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023, subject to regulatory clearances.

The Cambridge, U.K.-based company added that the acquisition will not impact its financial guidance for 2022.

AstraZeneca said the move aims to harness Neogene's expertise in the development and manufacturing of so-called T-cell receptor therapies that offer a new approach to treating cancer patients with solid tumors.

“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," said Susan Galbraith, executive vice president of oncology research and development at AstraZeneca.

"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.”

Under the terms of the deal, Neogene will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of AstraZeneca with operations in the U.S. and the Netherlands.

London-listed shares in AstraZeneca were higher in morning trading on Tuesday.

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