GENE ONLINE|News &
Opinion
Blog

2021-09-30| M&A

AstraZeneca Acquires Caelum in $500m Deal to Strengthen Rare Diseases Division

by Joy Lin
Share To

AstraZeneca will acquire Caelum Biosciences, a rare disease drugmaker with a Phase 3 treatment for Amyloid light chain (AL) amyloidosis, in a deal worth $500 million. The UK drugmaker inherited the option to buy Caelum when it acquired Alexion in a mega buyout worth $39 billion. Alexion had bought a minority stake in Caelum in 2019. 

Now a subsidiary of AstraZeneca, Alexion will buy the remaining shares in Caelum for $150 million. It will also make future milestone payments of up to $350 million to Caelum if it meets regulatory and sales goals.  

Another beneficiary of the deal was Fortress Biotech, which founded Caelum Biosciences. Fortress will be eligible to receive approximately 43% of all proceeds from AstraZeneca’s transaction.

Related Article: Roche to Acquire Long-Time Partner to Advance Molecular Diagnostics for Infectious Diseases

 

Thin Market for AL Amyloidosis Treatments

 

Amyloid light chain (AL) amyloidosis is a rare blood disorder that results in organ failure. It is caused by cancerous plasma cells that produce misfolded amyloid proteins. The abnormal proteins clump together in fibrils, accumulating in organs such as the kidneys, liver, and heart, which disrupts their function.

The rare disease currently has no cure, but treatments can stop the reproduction of abnormal plasma cells or prevent the formation of fibrils. 

The drug that has caught AstraZeneca’s attention was Caelum’s CAEL-101, an antibody that removes amyloid deposits from affected organs.

“With a median survival time of less than 18 months following diagnosis, there is an urgent need for new treatments for this devastating disease,” said Alexion CEO Marc Dunoyer. “CAEL-101 has the potential to be the first therapy to target and remove amyloid deposits from organ tissues, improve organ function, and, ultimately, lead to longer lives for these patients.” 

The drug is undergoing two Phase 3 trials that will enroll 370 patients with AL amyloidosis. CAEL-101 can be considered the most advanced clinical candidate to treat AL amyloidosis by clearing up amyloid fibrils. Only one other clinical asset is in Phase 3 — Prothena’s birtamimab.

Prothena’s anti-amyloid antibody initially failed a Phase 2b trial in 2018 and was shelved when continuation was judged futile. It was revived by the company after a second look revealed the drug improved survival for late-stage patients at the highest risk of dying.

Other treatments for AL amyloidosis attempt to address the underlying cause of the disease — abnormal plasma cells.

Johnson & Johnson’s Darzalex is one such drug. It was approved for multiple myeloma, which is closely related to AL amyloidosis, and won FDA approval as a combination therapy with chemotherapy and steroids this January to treat newly diagnosed patients with the disease. It targets CD38, a protein overexpressed in cancerous plasma cells, and induces apoptosis (programmed cell death).

Meanwhile, Takeda was not so fortunate. It had to shelve Ninlaro (ixazomib) after the drug failed to stem disease progression in patients in a Phase 3 trial. Similarly, a Phase 2 trial investigating GSK’s combination treatment (GSK2315698 + GSK2398852) was also discreetly terminated by the company after a risk assessment.

©www.geneonline.com All rights reserved. Collaborate with us: service@geneonlineasia.com
Related Post
The First Approved RSV Vaccine Worldwide Belongs to AstraZeneca and Sanofi
2022-11-06
AstraZeneca’s Treatment for Rare Throat Disease, Eosinophilic esophagitis, Fails Primary Endpoint
2022-10-25
Bristol Myers Squibb’ sNDA for Rare Heart Disease Treatment Accepted by the FDA
2022-10-21
LATEST
Rebyota Passes Through FDA To Become First Approved Fecal Microbiota Product
2022-12-05
RemeGen Presented New Data Updates on Telitacicept for SLE and primary Sjogren’s syndrome at ACR Convergence 2022
2022-12-05
EMA Urges Pholcodine’s Removal from European Market Following Safety Study
2022-12-05
Lynk Pharmaceuticals Announces First Patient Dosed in Phase Ⅱ Clinical Study of LNK01003 in Patients with Ulcerative Colitis
2022-12-04
Cure Brain Cancer Foundation Rings Nasdaq Opening Bell, Announces U.S. Expansion
2022-12-02
Focus-X Therapeutics, a Viva Biotech Portfolio Company, Successfully Reached an Acquisition Agreement with Full-Life Technologies
2022-12-02
Pfizer To Invest $1.26 Billion In Irish Plant, Forms New Vant Company Targeting Inflammation
2022-12-02
EVENT
2022-12-10
64TH ASH ANNUAL MEETING & EXPOSITION
New Orleans, USA
2022-12-14
BIOHK2022
Hong Kong, China
2022-12-21
Avatar Medicine Forum
Online
2023-01-07
7th Asia Microbiome Conference
Taipei, Taiwan
Scroll to Top

Create an account with us now to say goodbye to all the pop-ups!