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Celgene to acquire Receptos in $7.2bn deal

Published on 15/07/15 at 03:19pm
Celgene is looking to boost its immune and inflammation pipeline

Celgene has boosted its immune and inflammatory disease pipeline with the purchase of the biopharma company Receptos for $7.2 billion.

Under the terms of the merger agreement Celgene will pay $232 per share in cash for the San Diego-based firm, which develops therapeutic candidates for immune and metabolic diseases.

Receptos' most promising pipeline product, ozanimod, is in development for immune and inflammatory indications including irritable bowel diseases and relapsing multiple sclerosis. The company licensed the patent for ozanimod from the Scripps Research Institute. Receptos is also developing investigational treatments for orphan diseases, as well as other pipeline and pre-clinical stage compounds.

Faheem Hasnain, president and chief executive of Receptos, says: "In Celgene, we have found the ideal partner to maximize the potential of Ozanimod and our promising pipeline in order to improve the lives of patients worldwide."

Ozanimod impressed at the 2015 American Academy of Neurology conference. Receptos presented results of a Phase II study in relapsing MS that showed Ozanimod reduced brain lesion activity visible on an MRI scan, and secondary effects on other brain changes.

Receptos has also presented positive Phase II data for ozanimod in ulcerative colitis which prompted it to begin enrolling patients for a Phase III trial, while a Phase II study in Crohn’s disease is expected to begin at the end of this year.

Bob Hugin, chairman and chief executive officer of Celgene, described the deal as a ‘transformative opportunity’ for Celgene. "This acquisition enhances our inflammation and immunology portfolio and allows us to leverage the investments made in our global organisation to accelerate our growth in the medium and long-term."

While Scott Smith, president of inflammation and immunology for Celgene, says the firm was attracted by ozanimod’s impressive performances in Phase II trials and its potential for future development.

"Ozanimod is a potentially transformational oral therapy that has demonstrated robust clinical activity... with important efficacy and safety features that create the opportunity for development across a spectrum of immune-inflammatory diseases."

Celgene is due to publish its full second quarter financial results later in July. But preliminary results show net product sales of $2.25 million in the second quarter of 2015 compared to $1.85 million in the same period of 2014, an increase of 22%. Second quarter total revenue also increased 22%, to $2.28 million from $1.88 million last year.

Lilian Anekwe

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