2021-07-31| M&A

Amgen Acquires Teneobio to Snag New Class of Antibody Therapies

by Daniel Ojeda
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On July 27th, Amgen announced it would acquire Teneobio in a deal potentially worth more than $2 billion. With this acquisition, Amgen will add a complementary platform for the discovery and development of new therapeutics. However, Teneobio will spin off several of its therapeutics before the purchase. 

Located in California, Teneobio is a clinical-stage biotechnology company specializing in developing human heavy-chain-only multi-specific antibodies. Their proprietary discovery platform consists of two main parts: 1) transgenic rats that produce human heavy-chain antibodies, and 2) next-generation sequence-based discovery.

Their pipeline includes four Phase 1 therapeutics against a wide range of cancers and several other therapeutics in the IND application stage. Back in June, AbbVie acquired TeneoOne, a Teneobio affiliate, and its lead candidate TNB-383B, which is currently in Phase 1 trials against multiple myeloma. The move provides validation of Teneobio’s technology.


About the Acquisition

As part of the deal, Amgen will add Teneobio’s discovery platform, UniAb, which will complement Amgen’s existing BiTE platform. Additionally, Amgen will cement its position as a leader in developing bispecific T-cell engagers by adding TNB-585 to its pipeline. 

TNB-585 is a bispecific T-cell engager currently in Phase 1 trials to treat metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) and several oncology therapies with the potential for near-term IND filings. 

“The acquisition of Teneobio will strengthen our ability to develop innovative medicines to treat patients with serious illnesses and to bring to market best-in-class products, particularly with respect to multispecific and bispecific medicines directed against targets in a wide range of diseases across our core therapeutic areas,” said David M. Reese, M.D., executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen. 

“Teneobio’s antibody platform complements our existing capabilities and could potentially give us a more diverse set of building blocks that can be developed into new multi-specific therapeutics. In addition, the availability of Teneobio’s CD3 engager technology will allow us to broaden our capabilities in generating bispecifics, and with our own technology, enable customization of the T cell engaging domain of the molecules depending on the disease and target.”


Deal Terms

As part of the deal, Amgen will pay $900 million upfront in cash and future payments up to $1.6 billion contingent on milestones. 

However, before the acquisition, Teneobio will spin off three affiliates, each keeping one therapy in Teneobio’s current pipeline. The new affiliates are: 

  • TeneoTwo, which will take TNB-486, a CD19 and CD3 antibody currently in Phase 1 clinical trials against B-cells.
  • TeneoFour, which will take a CD38 enzyme blockade therapy currently in the IND application Phase.
  • TeneoTen, which will keep a therapy currently in pre-clinical development against Hepatitis B and Polyomavirus.

The deal is further complicated by Kite Pharma’s licensing of a suite of antibodies from Teneobio. One of them is currently in Phase 1 clinical trials. Furthermore, Kite Pharma can use Teneobio’s platform to discover up to four more targets to be used for CAR-T treatments.

Related Article: PerkinElmer Makes its Biggest Buy Yet Forking Out $5.25 Billion for Latest Acquisition

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