UPDATE 2-AstraZeneca buys rare disease drug maker Caelum in potential $ 500 million deal
* Alexion to pay Caelum $ 150 million
* Plus up to $ 350 million in future milestone-based payments (adds rare drug info, actions, details)
By Yadarisa Shabong and Sachin Ravikumar
Sept. 29 (Reuters) – AstraZeneca will take full control of Caelum Biosciences in a deal worth up to $ 500 million, the drugmaker said on Wednesday, placing more emphasis on anti-cancer drugs. rare diseases after purchasing Alexion Pharmaceuticals.
Agreement Gives AstraZeneca Access to Another Potentially Profitable Rare Disease Drug in Late-Stage Trials and Granted ‘Fast Track’ Status for Regulatory Review in the United States .
New Jersey-based Caelum will be part of the Alexion division of AstraZeneca, the rare disease specialist he bought for $ 39 billion earlier this year.
Alexion will pay $ 150 million to buy the remaining stake it does not already own in Caelum and make future payments of up to $ 350 million, depending on milestones. Alexion took a minority stake in Caelum in 2019.
Caelum’s drug candidate aims to treat AL amyloidosis, a rare and life-threatening disease that damages the heart and kidneys and affects approximately 20,000 people in six Western countries.
The disease causes abnormal proteins called amyloids to build up in human organs and disrupt their normal functioning. Caelum’s medicine is a type of monoclonal antibody that binds to amyloid deposits to reduce or eliminate them and improve organ function.
“With a median survival time of less than 18 months after diagnosis, there is an urgent need for new treatments for this devastating disease,” Alexion CEO Marc Dunoyer said in a statement.
Since purchasing Alexion, AstraZeneca has had mixed fortunes with rare disease drugs in development. Although he reported promising results from trials of a Wilson disease drug, he abandoned trials of an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis drug after failing to show its effectiveness.
AstraZeneca shares rose 2.2% at 09:00 GMT on the London Stock Exchange, in line with the broader market. (Report by Yadarisa Shabong and Sachin Ravikumar in Bengaluru, edited by Ramakrishnan M. and Mark Potter)