2022-08-11| M&A

Potential $1 billion Acquisition of TeneoTwo by AstraZeneca comes to Fruition

by Max Heirich
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On August 11, AstraZeneca announced the completion of its acquisition of TeneoTwo. TeneoTwo brings TNB-486 with it, a clinical-stage treatment for B-cell haematologic malignancies. Announced early this year, AstraZeneca paid $100 million upfront, with another $805 million related to potential R&D milestones.

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

An Acquisition Leads To Another Acquisition

TeneoTwo spawned as an affiliate company of Tenobio after its own acquisition by Amgen for $900 million. A part of the deal struck included Tenobio splitting some of its assets into new companies. The newly formed TenoTwo received the asset TNB-486.

T-cell engagers are an emerging class of antibodies for treating certain solid tumors. They harness the host’s T-cells to recognize and kill cancer cells. TNB-486 is CD19/CD3 T-cell engager for the treatment of B-cell haematologic malignancies. A comparable treatment is Amgen’s BLINCYTO™ (blinatumomab), which gained FDA approval in 2014. 

Due to the potential of TNB-486, AstraZeneca sought to acquire the spin-off biotech company. In July of this year, they announced they had entered an agreement with TeneoTwo to purchase the company for their new treatment. 

AstraZeneca Pays $100 million up front

For the outstanding equity of TeneoTwo, AstraZeneca paid $100 million upfront. In addition, they agreed to pay an additional $805 million related to R&D milestones. The agreement also lists an additional $305 million in payments made for contingent commercial-related milestones to former equity holders. 

From now on, AstraZeneca will facilitate the program currently testing TNB-486. The Phase I clinical study effectively started on March 2, 2021. At this time, its primary completion date is estimated sometime around August 2023, with its total completion estimated around May 2024. The trial aims to evaluate the safety, clinical pharmacology, and clinical activity in patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL) who have received two or more prior lines of therapy.

Along with AstraZeneca’s acquisition of Alexion, the acquisition of TeneoTwo marks another instance of the company seeking to treat rare diseases. 

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