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2023-12-05| M&A

AbbVie Invests $10.1 Billion in ImmunoGen, Targeting the Ovarian Cancer Landscape

by Sinead Huang
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AbbVie Inc. has finalized an acquisition agreement with the U.S. biotechnology firm ImmunoGen, Inc., marking its entry into the ovarian cancer drug market. The acquisition, valued at up to $10.1 billion, provides AbbVie access to ImmunoGen’s flagship product, ELAHERE (mirvetuximab soravtansine-gynx), an innovative antibody drug conjugate (ADC) approved by the U.S. FDA for treating platinum-resistant ovarian cancer (PROC).

Related article: ImmunoGen Wins FDA Accelerated Approval For Ovarian Cancer Drug

Platinum-Sensitive and -Resistant Paths in Ovarian Cancer Treatment

In the realm of recurrent ovarian cancer treatment, where over 70-80% of patients experience recurrence within three years after initial treatment, the sensitivity of cancer cells to platinum chemotherapy drugs plays a crucial role in determining the appropriate course of action. Ovarian cancer is classified into two main types: platinum-sensitive and platinum-resistant. Patients fall into the former category if recurrence occurs more than six months after initial surgery and standard chemotherapy, while those in the latter category experience recurrence in less than six months. For platinum-sensitive patients, continuing with the original platinum drugs is an option, whereas compound drugs prove more effective for recurrent ovarian cancer treatment. Platinum-resistant patients, on the other hand, need to switch to second-line treatment drugs, including liposomal doxorubicin, topotecan, etoposide, gemcitabine, and paclitaxel peritoneal infusion.

ELAHERE, a next-generation ADC targeting folate receptor α (FRα), gained accelerated approval from the U.S. FDA in 2022 for platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. ImmunoGen’s comprehensive development plan aims to broaden ELAHERE’s impact by venturing into earlier treatment stages and targeting a more extensive patient demographic. Positive outcomes from the MIRASOL Phase 3 clinical trial are poised to bolster global expansion efforts over the next 5-10 years.

AbbVie’s Acquisition Reshapes Oncology Frontiers

In a substantial shift in the oncology landscape, AbbVie’s acquisition of ImmunoGen involves a cash transaction of $31.26 per share, totaling around $10.1 billion. The deal is anticipated to conclude in mid-2024, contingent on customary conditions, including approval from ImmunoGen shareholders and regulatory clearances. This collaboration positions ImmunoGen as a pivotal player in AbbVie’s ambitious oncology franchise, with ELAHERE presenting as a potential multi-billion dollar therapy offering expansion possibilities across diverse ovarian cancer treatment domains.This acquisition not only incorporates ELAHERE but also integrates ImmunoGen’s promising line of next-generation ADC follow-up products. Notable assets include IMGN-151, a Phase 1 anti-FRα ADC with potential expansion into solid tumor indications, and Pivekimab sunirine, a Phase 2 anti-FRα ADC for blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasia (BPDCN). This comprehensive addition reinforces AbbVie’s commitment to transformative oncology programs addressing a spectrum of solid tumors and hematologic malignancies.

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