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Amgen to buy biotech startup TeneoBio

By   /   Tuesday, July 27th, 2021  /   Comments Off on Amgen to buy biotech startup TeneoBio

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Amgen announced July 27 that it plans to buy a privately held Bay Area biotech company called TeneoBio in an all-cash deal worth as much as $2.5 billion.

The deal is expected to close in the second half of this year and calls for Amgen to pay $900 million up front for all outstanding shares of TeneoBio, plus contingent milestone payments worth up to $1.6 billion more.

At the end of its most recent quarter, on March 31, Thousand Oaks-based Amgen had $6.11 billion in cash and cash equivalents, down from $6.27 billion at the end of 2020.

In a July 27 news release announcing the TeneoBio deal, Amgen said the acquisition of TeneoBio’s “proprietary bispecific and multispecific antibody technologies” 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.”

The deal includes TeneoBio’s TNB-585, a prostate cancer treatment currently in Phase 1 trials. According to Amgen, the therapy complements Amgen’s two existing prostate cancer treatments, with each offering different approaches to treat “a highly prevalent disease for which new treatment options are very much needed.”

Amgen shares closed at $244.68 on July 27, down 0.16% from the previous day’s closing price. In the hour after the TeneoBio acquisition was announced, the stock crept by 0.13% and was trading at around $245.

TeneoBio is based in Newark, California and is developing a new class of biologics known as human heavy-chain antibodies for the treatment of cancer, autoimmune disorders and infectious diseases. The company has what Amgen calls a “novel T-cell engager platform” that can provide “a differentiated, but complementary” approach to Amgen’s own T-cell platform for cancer treatment, known as BiTE.

In June, AbbVie acquired TeneoOne, a TeneoBio affiliate developing a bispecific antibody treatment for relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Before the Amgen acquisition closes, three other TeneoBio affiliates with their own bispecific antibodies will be spun off to TeneoBio’s existing shareholders: TeneoTwo, TeneoFour and TeneoTen.

Goldman Sachs acted as financial advisor to Amgen on the deal and Latham & Watkins was its legal advisor. Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian acted as legal advisor to TeneoBio.

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