Astellas snatches up oncology firm Ganymed for $1.4 billion

pharmafile | October 31, 2016 | News story | Research and Development, Sales and Marketing Astellas, Ganymed, IMAB362 

Japanese pharma firm Astellas is set to bolster its oncology business with the acquisition of Ganymed Pharmaceuticals in a deal worth up to $1.4 billion.

Ganymed, based in Germany, focuses on treatment of cancer using ideal monoclonal antibodies (IMABs) which target proteins present in cancer cells but do not bind to healthy cells. It will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Astellas for an initial payment of $461 million, followed by milestone payments of up to $940 million based on the progress of Ganymed’s IMAB362. IMAB362 is gastroesophageal cancer candidate designed to target the tight junction protein Claudin-18.2 (CLDN18.2), and has proved itself this year in mid-stage trials to be capable of significantly improving progression-free survival as a combination treatment for gastric cancer as opposed to chemotherapy alone.

Commenting on the venture, Astellas CEO Yoshihiko Hatanaka remarked: “Oncology is one of our focus therapeutic areas and key drivers for our growth.

“We aim to deliver a potential new therapeutic option to cancer patients who currently have limited treatment options available to them. The acquisition of Ganymed will enable Astellas to further expand our oncology presence by adding a late-stage antibody asset with the potential to establish a new pillar following Xtandi [enzalutamide].”

The deal is set to close over the next few weeks.

Matt Fellows

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