On a busy day for US dealmaking, Celgene Corp is to acquire privately-held Avila Therapeutics in a deal that could be worth up to $925 million.
Celgene is paying $350 million in cash, plus up to $195 million for milestones related to the progress of AVL-292, an oral covalent drug that inhibits Bruton’s tyrosine kinase which currently in Phase I for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, B cell chronic lympocytic leukaemia and rheumatoid arthritis.
The deal also includes up to $380 million in potential milestone payments contingent upon the development and approval of candidates generated from Avila's Avilomics platform. Celgene's president of research and early development, Tom Daniel, said that Avila is "a remarkable company" and highlighted its "unique approach to protein silencing as an area of great promise for our research initiatives in haematology, oncology and immune-inflammatory diseases.”
Meantime, Celgene unveiled its financials for the fourth quarter which showed that net income leapt 96% to $410.2 million, while product sales increased 21% to $1.24 billion.
Sales growth was driven by the firm’s multiple myeloma drug Revlimid (lenalidomide), which generated $855 million, up 20%, while turnover of Vidaza (azacitidine), which is approved for the treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes and acute myeloid leukaemia, jumped 34% to $189 million.
Abraxane, an albumin-bound formulation of paclitaxel for breast cancer brought in $104 million, though Thalomid (thalidomide), which is used to treat newly-diagnosed multiple myeloma as well cutaneous manifestations of moderate-to-severe erythema nodosum leprosum, an inflammatory complication of leprosy, slid 12% to $82 million.