This week Celgene Corporation, a global biopharmaceutical company engaged primarily in the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative therapies for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases through gene and protein regulation, announced that it has signed an agreement in which it will acquire Receptos, Inc. (NASDAQ: RCPT) a biopharmaceutical company that specializes in the development of therapeutic candidates for the treatment of immune and metabolic diseases.
According to the companies, the acquisition will:
- Enhance Celgene’s Inflammation & Immunology (I&I) portfolio.
- Further diversifies the Company’s revenue beginning in 2019.
- Build upon Celgene’s growing expertise in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) by the addition of Ozanimod, a novel orally administered drug that has shown efficacy in the improvement of patients with ulcerative colitis.
Current clinical trials including the phase III TRUE NORTH trial (data to be released in 2018), and the phase III RADIANCE (data to be released in 2017), have the potential to position Ozanimod as the first drug of its kind to be be approved for IBD.
In a company-wide announcement, Faheem Hasnain, President and Chief Executive Officer of Receptos, stated, “In Celgene, we have found the ideal partner to maximize the potential of Ozanimod and our promising pipeline in order to improve the lives of patients worldwide.”
This sentiment was shared by Scott Smith, President of I&I for Celgene, “Ozanimod is a potentially transformational oral therapy that has demonstrated robust clinical activity with impressive immune-inflammatory modulating properties in phase II trials. Ozanimod is a highly differentiated next-generation S1P receptor modulator with important efficacy and safety features that create the opportunity for development across a spectrum of immune-inflammatory diseases (such as ulcerative colitis).”
Commenting on the importance of the acquisition, Bob Hugin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Celgene, said “The Receptos acquisition provides a transformational opportunity for Celgene to impact multiple therapeutic areas. This acquisition enhances our I&I portfolio and allows us to leverage the investments made in our global organization to accelerate our growth in the medium and long-term.”
The terms of this agreement stipulate that Celgene will pay $232.00 per share in cash, or a total of approximately $7.2 billion, net of cash acquired.
Ozanimod (formerly RPC1063) is a novel, oral, once daily, selective sphingosine 1-phosphate 1 and 5 receptor modulator in development for immunology indications including relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS) and ulcerative colitis (UC). The TOUCHSTONE Phase 2 trial of ozanimod in UC met its primary endpoint and all secondary endpoints with statistical significance in patients on the 1.0 mg dose of ozanimod in both the 8-week induction and the 32-week maintenance periods. The overall safety and tolerability profile of ozanimod was consistent with the results of the RADIANCE Phase 2 trial in RMS, and continues to support the potential for orally administered ozanimod to significantly improve the treatment paradigm for UC patients. Receptos plans to initiate a Phase 3 program in UC and a Phase 2 program in Crohn’s disease in 2015.
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