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Gilead acquires immuno-oncology firm Forty Seven in $4.9 billion deal

Published on 03/03/20 at 11:20am

Gilead has revealed it is to acquire the immunology firm Forty Seven in a deal valued at $95.50 per share in cash, which brings the total valuation of the latter company to $4.9 billion.

The deal secured unanimous approval from both companies’ Boards of Directors and is expected to close in the second quarter of the year.

The move is seen as a boost to Gilead’s immuno-oncology portfolio, and will include the acquisition of Forty Seven’s lead product, magrolimab, which is currently in development for a range of cancers with unmet need including myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). The CD47 inhibitor posted positive Phase 1b data in MDS and AML when combined with azacytidine (Vidaza) back in December last year.

“Magrolimab complements our existing work in haematology, adding a non-cell therapy programme that complements Kite’s pipeline of cell therapies for haematological cancers,” explained Daniel O’Day, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Gilead Sciences. “With a profile that lends itself to combination therapies, magrolimab could potentially have transformative benefits for a range of tumour types. We are looking forward to working with the highly experienced team at Forty Seven to help patients with some of the most challenging forms of cancer.”

Dr Mark McCamish, President and Chief Executive Officer at Forty Seven, also said of the deal: “This is an exciting day for patients who may one day benefit from future anti-CD47 therapies and other immuno-oncology treatments based on our research and an exciting time for Forty Seven as this allows us to achieve our vision of helping patients defeat their cancer. We are pleased to join Gilead and believe that by combining our scientific expertise with Gilead’s strength in developing treatments that modify the immune system, we will be able to more rapidly advance our therapies.”

Matt Fellows

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