Home South Africa AstraZeneca boosts cancer portfolio with $320 million Neogene deal – SABC News

AstraZeneca boosts cancer portfolio with $320 million Neogene deal – SABC News

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AstraZeneca ( AZN.L ) will acquire biotech company Neogene Therapeutics for $320 million, the London-based drugmaker said on Tuesday, as it seeks to build its pipeline of cell-based cancer treatments.

Although AstraZeneca’s oncology portfolio accounted for more than a third of the company’s profits last year, it has no approved cell-based cancer treatments and is lagging behind rivals such as Novartis ( NOVN.S ) and Gilead ( GILD.O ).

“Neogene’s leading (T-cell receptor) discovery capabilities and extensive manufacturing experience complement the cell therapy capability we have built over the past three years,” said Susan Galbraith, AstraZeneca’s executive vice president of cancer research.

Cell-based therapies are a relatively new approach to cancer treatment, most of which involve extracting the body’s own immune cells and manipulating them in the laboratory to target and destroy cancer cells.

Neogene’s approach goes one step further in that its experimental T-cell receptor therapy seeks to target DNA mutations specific to tumors, rather than just specific proteins on the surface of cancer cells.

“Our expertise, clinical portfolio and platform technologies in this area, combined with AstraZeneca’s leadership in oncology and global footprint, mean we are well-positioned to translate ground-breaking science into new treatments for difficult-to-treat cancers,” said the CEO. Neogene Karsten Linnemann.

Linnemann founded Neogene in the Netherlands in 2018 with Ton Schumacher of the Netherlands Cancer Institute. Its headquarters are in Amsterdam and Santa Monica, California.

AstraZeneca will make an initial payment of $200 million to Neogene, with an additional $120 million contingent upon the company achieving certain milestones.

The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker said the deal has no impact on its full-year financial outlook and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023.

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